Suffolk County Council – 0% Council tax rise for the 2nd Year running

Last Thursday at Suffolk County Council we voted for no increase in the County element of the Suffolk council tax for the second year running.

I am delighted with this and passionately argued that this was right and proper in the 3 hour debate.

A few weeks ago we heard that the liberals were going to present an alternative budget but at the start of the debate we had the extraordinary scene of their Budget spokesman saying he had got it wrong on the Radio and in fact meant to say they would only be presenting an amendment to our Budget proposals, simply staggering, because he was actually pushed on it by the Radio presenter and he confirmed an ‘alternative budget’ not an amendment. This very disappointingly amounted to less than a side of A4! – But to be fair that was more than the Labour group who tabled nothing at all and who in my opinion, when they speak start to sound detacted from the world about them, as if the financial troubles we are all facing together have no relavence to Suffolk.

Both of these parties are going to go to the polls in 15 months’ time; hopefully between now and then they might take it a bit more seriously and actually put some effort in.

I am one of those who simply does not agree with increasing the Council Tax unless you absolutely have to.

As a cabinet member in Suffolk I am very aware of the pressure that 0% brings, I have had sleepless nights thinking about services and the effect on staff as many lose their jobs but I am convinced organisations must look to themselves before simply increasing Council Tax. The sort of reckless behaviour of the last liberal/labour adminstration in Suffolk where in one year they put up the council tax by 11.9% and the following year 18.5% must not ever be allowed to happen again. On thursday the opposition looked very uncomfortable at the mention of this but if they can do it once and think it acceptable behaviour then they can do it again.

The key priority of a council must be to provide services and protect the vulnerable and more than that to provide quality services to support people. But time and time again I come back to a fundamental fact the vast majority of people do not look to council services, the vast majority of those on fixed pensions do not look to the councils for services to help them in their old age and increasing the council tax would hurt them.

We are Conservatives and I do not ‘buy’ the argument by officers that Council Tax has to rise. Yes we all agree that no increases is ultimately not sustainable as inflation will of course have to be dealt with, yes we all agree that different councils have different pressures and yes we all agree that the needs in some council areas are very different; but whilst the Government is able to help, whilst we can still find further cost efficiencies we should not hurt the people who elected us to protect them from the liberals and labour!

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal, anything I write is promoted by Lance Stanbury on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Park Farm Cottage, Fordham St. Genevieve, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 6TS

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