South Lakeland Tories float 1% cut in Council Tax bill for local residents

OPPOSITION Conservative councillors have unveiled a plan to cut the council tax for thousands of South Lakeland residents.

Local Tories are preparing to float an alternative at SLDC's major budget setting meeting which takes place at the end of the month.

The ruling Lib Dem administration are proposing a freeze in the share it takes from the Council Tax - their fourth in as many years.

But their Tory opponents on the other side of the council chamber hope to win support for what it says would be the first Council Tax cut for residents since 1994.

Local party officials say their proposal has been "fully vetted by council officers" and will be put forward at the full council meeting on Tuesday February 25.

Devised by Windermere Coun Ben Berry, the cut would represent a one per cent reduction in SLDC's take from a household's Council Tax bill.

Coun Berry claims the cut may seem 'small' but would benefit residents.

"Cutting Council Tax, even by one per cent is a massive step in the right direction," said Coun Berry.

"The savings required to put this cash back in the pockets of our residents came from entirely unneeded spending and in future years I'm certain the council could go even further without risking front line services."

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He said the tax cut required savings of only £79,000 and that if parish councils, Cumbria County Council, as well as the Police Commissioner, followed suit it would represent an annual saving of £15.72 for an average Band D property.

Leader of the Conservatives on SLDC, Coun David Williams, said: "We have decided to take money from the hands of councillors and to remove council propaganda to fund this proposal to cut tax for our hard hit residents. If councillors want to argue with that they won't get much sympathy from me."

Specifically the savings have been found from:

* £51,000 by removing the councillors' grants budget - the council allows each of its 51 councillors to apply for up to £1,000 to use for locally-important projects in their ward

* £400 taken from the Chairman of the Council's charity and entertainment budget

* £26,000 by stopping South Lakeland News, the council's newsletter delivered to residents by mail

* £1,600 from officer support to Local Area Partnerships

Coun Peter Thornton, leader of SLDC, replied: "Promises are easy to make when in opposition, however the Conservatives record doesn't bear them out and under the previous Conservative leader we had increases from 3.95 per cent up to over 10 per cent. 

"The Liberal Democrat run-council will be proposing a Council Tax freeze for the fourth year in a row and delivering a balanced budget.

"We will vote against the Conservative plans to take away £1,000 from each ward. Money that goes towards play areas, footpaths,village halls, defibrillators, youth clubs, local theatres and community traffic speed monitoring and that reaches every community in South Lakeland."

 

Comments (5)

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6:18pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Hoad Hill says...

Cumbria police have never failed to raise the precept by less than the permitted amount except for one year when they were penalised by the government for an outrageous increase the previous year.
Replacing the profligate Police Authority with a PCC has made no difference to this practice.
Cumbria police have never failed to raise the precept by less than the permitted amount except for one year when they were penalised by the government for an outrageous increase the previous year. Replacing the profligate Police Authority with a PCC has made no difference to this practice. Hoad Hill
  • Score: 2

9:31pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Lakeuk says...

Chances of this going anywhere, you'll have the libs point scoring to not give any of it a second thought and the cons doing their own scoring proposing it knowing it won't go anywhere.

£26k on party newsletters under the guise of an sldc newsletter is a total waste, the rest of the suggests need more detail to conclude if they're worth stopping, searching the SLDC website doesn't shread any light in any of these areas
Chances of this going anywhere, you'll have the libs point scoring to not give any of it a second thought and the cons doing their own scoring proposing it knowing it won't go anywhere. £26k on party newsletters under the guise of an sldc newsletter is a total waste, the rest of the suggests need more detail to conclude if they're worth stopping, searching the SLDC website doesn't shread any light in any of these areas Lakeuk
  • Score: 0

5:17pm Fri 7 Feb 14

jazzactivist says...

A reduction in Council Tax is the last thing we need here. More would be collected if extra Council Tax bands were added to the top of the scale and those amounts were increased dramatically. Most of the housing in South Lakeland is expensive, so the CT bands and costs should reflect that.
A reduction in Council Tax is the last thing we need here. More would be collected if extra Council Tax bands were added to the top of the scale and those amounts were increased dramatically. Most of the housing in South Lakeland is expensive, so the CT bands and costs should reflect that. jazzactivist
  • Score: -13

6:27am Sun 9 Feb 14

Grumpyoldbiker says...

jazzactivist wrote:
A reduction in Council Tax is the last thing we need here. More would be collected if extra Council Tax bands were added to the top of the scale and those amounts were increased dramatically. Most of the housing in South Lakeland is expensive, so the CT bands and costs should reflect that.
Just because someone lives or owns a large property does not necessarily mean they have a large income to pay extra council tax. The poll tax, where everyone is equal, was by far the most just and fair system of local taxation. Four adults who live in one hose use four times the local services as one adult living alone. The size of the property is irrelevant. The council tax is illogical. The other way is as in America where a local sales tax is used.

As for proposing tax reductions whilst services are cut, this is absurd.
[quote][p][bold]jazzactivist[/bold] wrote: A reduction in Council Tax is the last thing we need here. More would be collected if extra Council Tax bands were added to the top of the scale and those amounts were increased dramatically. Most of the housing in South Lakeland is expensive, so the CT bands and costs should reflect that.[/p][/quote]Just because someone lives or owns a large property does not necessarily mean they have a large income to pay extra council tax. The poll tax, where everyone is equal, was by far the most just and fair system of local taxation. Four adults who live in one hose use four times the local services as one adult living alone. The size of the property is irrelevant. The council tax is illogical. The other way is as in America where a local sales tax is used. As for proposing tax reductions whilst services are cut, this is absurd. Grumpyoldbiker
  • Score: 3

12:58pm Mon 10 Feb 14

jazzactivist says...

Sorry, grumpyoldbiker, but the idea of the little old lady living alone in poverty in a huge house is a myth. People who can afford to live in big houses with big gardens, especially here, are able to afford to contribute more towards local services for the less well off. I also think the Council Tax should be dramatically increased for second home owners and people who own more than one property. That would bring in a decent amount of income in this area. I agree with you that Council Tax should be adjusted according to how many people live in the household though - adults and children - as a family of five does use more local services than a couple or someone living alone, but there should be a general scale so that those who have more pay progressively more. I don't think the Poll Tax was a fair tax, as under that system someone who is extremely wealthy pays the same as someone who is very poor. I preferred the old Rates system, which was fairly based on how much property and land people owned.
Sorry, grumpyoldbiker, but the idea of the little old lady living alone in poverty in a huge house is a myth. People who can afford to live in big houses with big gardens, especially here, are able to afford to contribute more towards local services for the less well off. I also think the Council Tax should be dramatically increased for second home owners and people who own more than one property. That would bring in a decent amount of income in this area. I agree with you that Council Tax should be adjusted according to how many people live in the household though - adults and children - as a family of five does use more local services than a couple or someone living alone, but there should be a general scale so that those who have more pay progressively more. I don't think the Poll Tax was a fair tax, as under that system someone who is extremely wealthy pays the same as someone who is very poor. I preferred the old Rates system, which was fairly based on how much property and land people owned. jazzactivist
  • Score: -1

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