SOUTH Lakeland District Council has been accused of imposing a ‘mansion tax’ on families living on the shores of Windermere.

Tory leader David Williams said the authority’s plans to increase encroachment fees relating to jetties on the lake amounted to a tax on those with properties surrounding it. SLDC owns the bed of Windermere and can annually levy those who have a jetty.

Coun Williams said: “People in my ward that have the privilege – they are not all wealthy, not at all. They are having their fees increased by 15 per cent and last year 30 per cent. That is 45 per cent in two years.

“This is a mansion tax on those who have properties on the lake. They don’t have any choice apart from demolishing their piers. It’s totally unreasonable.”

Coun Williams was responding to the ruling Lib Dem’s groups medium term financial plan.

Ahead of its budget-setting meeting in February, the council is preparing what it will spend and what will increase. It contains a number of increases to the fees and charges SLDC sets. The report was presented by Lib Dem Councillor David Evans.