Council Tax frozen for second year running

The Conservatives

South Gloucestershire Conservative councillors succeeded in freezing the Council Tax for a second year running at last night’s council budget meeting, pumping more funding into elderly care and rewarding communities that have seen housing growth .

At the meeting, all councillors were asked to support the recommendations of the Conservative Cabinet, which included:

  • Freezing the basic Council Tax for a second year running – saving the average household £93 over the two years
  • Extra funding of £5.6m over the next three years for community care services to meet additional demand
  • Additional council funding to maintain planned school building improvements first set out last year, as well as support for school energy efficiency improvements
  • Plans to use the district’s New Homes Bonus allocation to support additional investment in infrastructure, protect frontline services and support over £700K of new initiatives in communities that have seen new housing growth.

But Labour councillors voted against the plans and have been criticised for failing to stand up for hard-pressed households and vulnerable residents.

And not all Lib Dem councillors backed the budget either, leaving only Conservative councillors to give their unanimous support.

Cabinet Member for Corporate Affairs Cllr John Goddard (Con, Hanham) said:

“The Conservatives were the only political grouping to unanimously support a repeat of the basic Council Tax freeze, which has kept almost £100 in the pockets of the average hard-pressed and hard-working household, as well as additional council funding for our most vulnerable residents.”

“If Labour councillors supported these proposals then they would have put their hands up for them in the main budget vote – but they didn’t.”

“By voting against the budget, Labour councillors opposed helping hard-pressed households, opposed extra funding for elderly care, opposed school improvements and opposed rewarding communities that have seen new homes built.”

“Labour can come up with as many excuses as they like – they had the chance to support the budget or propose their own and they did neither.”

Cllr Goddard added:

“We started planning years ago for the inevitable period of paying down Labour’s debt and deficit and we will stick to our plans to keep costs as low as possible for local taxpayers, while delivering savings through greater efficiency, reducing duplication and waste and transforming the way that the council works to protect the frontline services that our residents want.”

Related link: Budget documents (South Gloucestershire Council)

Source: Conservative Group on South Gloucestershire Council

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  1. What a shame Cllr Goddard doesn’t point out;

    1) That the Council Tax freeze has only been possible due to a £5.6m handout from central government. Without it the Tories would have been putting up Council Tax by 5% and triggering a local referendum which would have put a further 0.5% to 1% on Council Tax.
    2) The Tories are having to balance the books over the next 3 years with a programme of £43m of cuts, the detail of which is still to be worked out. Nobody knows how this will affect services, residents or staff, yet the Tories and most of the Lib Dems put their hands up for it. The Tory budget was asking us to sign a blank cheque for the next 3 years and we could not do that.
    3) That the Tories intend to borrow an extra £20m this year – twice what they borrowed last year – and they have the cheek to blame Labour for borrowing ! All that is happening is that central Government (David Cameron) is cutting the money they give to local councils, so local councils are going out and borrowing money themselves. This is just transferring national debt down to local debt. On top of this we found out that national government has increased the interest rate that councils pay when they borrow money from central government – again, a way of reducing national debt at the expense of local debt. This is how the Tories are going to create the illusion that they are balancing the country’s books – by moving debt from central government to local government.

    Cllr Andy Perkins
    Leader, Labour Group of Councillors
    South Glos. Council

  2. What kind of journalism is it that only gives one side of the story? Partisan journalism, that’s what. Judging by the article, it is not even worthy of the term journalism. Churnalism would be a more appropriate term as the article appears to be nothing more than a lazy reprint of a Tory press release.

    Shame on South Glos Post for even considering itself worthy of the term news outlet.

    And a further point, why does this site not put names to the people behind it. If it is because you’re ashamed of the sloppy work you do, I’m not surprised you’re hiding.

  3. @Felix, We’ve had this conversation before, here.

    Nonetheless, I’ll repeat what I wrote last time:

    Most of the articles on here are press releases; this is acknowledged by the ‘Source’ statement shown at the end of each article.

    We’re not claiming credit for the articles, we’re just aggregating them in a way that may prove useful to some readers.

    As for your comment about giving one side of the story, that’s not true. If you care to look at the front page of the website, you’ll find articles from all three main parties on the SGC budget issue.

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