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Ashford Borough Councillors ‘Pickled’ by Headline Grabbing Promises

November 2, 2012 6:53 PM
By Jeremy Adby in Victoria Focus Winter 2012

Eric Pickles MPIncoherent Conservative plans seem to be flavour of the month at present. Some of you will no doubt have seen the recent announcements on freezes to Council Tax.

The Liberal Democrats have robustly attacked the blanket freeze announcement. Speaking to this website Lib Dem Cllr Jeremy Adby said "This freeze looks good as a headline, but it's a sop. A Council Tax freeze, coupled with the demand to cut council budgets, means that many services the council provides will be closed or cut - this simply stores up more problems for the future."

"This is the same headline grabbing, short-team, nonsensical financing that we got from the last government - which got Britain into this mess to start with. Scratch beneath the surface and you can see how poor a deal this is for communities. Councils want to be able to protect services for children and those with care needs - but won't be able to do so if they take up the 'bribe' of a limited percentage increase for minuscule funding 'rewards.'"

"In choosing whether to take the freeze deal offered by the government councils like Ashford will find themselves between the devil and the deep blue sea."

"It's totally hypocritical to impose a possible 2% cap and to tell councils 'that's what the 'threshold' is' - councils cannot afford to hold referendums on council tax increases so they are left to toe the line. This is not LOCALISM - this is another return to the centralist policy loved by Labour."

"If localism means anything it means locally elected representatives deciding the level of council tax. This council could employ more dog wardens, greater litter picking, more grass cutting and so on. Decisions should be made by local Councillors, elected by local people, not some out of touch bureaucrat in Whitehall who's never set foot in Ashford (or even Kent)."

"Local government is making the biggest contribution to reducing the national deficit versus any other part of the public sector. We are finding massive savings whilst trying to protect local services. The government wants to force us to continue doing so with one hand tied behind our backs."