Friday, February 12, 2010

Lowest ever council tax rise set by East Riding of Yorkshire Council

East Riding of Yorkshire ratepayers will have a small rise of 1.5% in their council tax charges this coming year.

The Conservative Controlled East Riding of Yorkshire Council has set a budget for the next financial year of £269 million, which requires a council tax at Band D of £1,212.20. The council tax increase is the lowest ever set by East Riding of Yorkshire Council and will mean that the increase for an average household will be less than £16 per year.

As Councillors we had as a basis for discussion a budget prepared by the council’s corporate management team which indicated a 3% rise in council tax. However, this increase has been halved by taking money from various reserves and budgeting for a half per cent pay rise, which is in line with national expectations, and not from front line services.

I hope that this lower-than-expected increase will come as some relief to the many East Riding families who continue to endure the adverse effects of the recession, especially those on fixed incomes. This is more good news for Gilberdyke residents who will also benefit from the 30% cut in the Parish Council part of their council tax.

I think we certainly took our political opponents by surprise in announcing the 1.5% increase. It was sad that the Liberal Democrat group could not support our proposals, and even worse that the Labour Councillors not only failed to support the budget, but instead proposed a full 3% increase. I am not sure what message the local Labour Group is sending out but it has all the hallmarks of what we have seen with Labour nationally since 1997 – HIGHER TAXES!

I agree with Beverley and Holderness Tory MP Graham Stuart when reacting to our budget proposals he said,

Labour has learnt nothing, the choice at the General Election is now clear – responsible government under the Conservatives or sky rocketing taxes under Labour."


KevO (aka Bluetracker) said...

The cynic in me says the low hike in council tax this time around has been paid for by higher than average hikes in past years...
Every election year we see councils/ors and MP's 'buttering up' the voting population hoping that it will buy them another term in office.
It's a bit like advertising products for 'less than £100' with a price tag of £99.99, no-one is taken in any more.

Paul Robinson said...

Having played a part in this Kev - I can assure you this is not the case - the cynical would say that Labour areas receive more in Central Government grant funding - something the Labour Government has really penalised the residents of the East Riding of Yorkshire…. and they would be right!

KevO (aka Bluetracker) said...

I hear what you're saying Paul, but if the 'boot were on the other foot' it would be the Tories penalising a Labour council, such is the way of all things political in making the alternative look better than it really is, when all along, there is little or nothing to choose between them all.
Labour Tories Lib Dems, Uncle Tom cobbley et-al all diss each other in an attempt to win over the voting public. Once that goal is attained all the promises they made to sway us into voting for them melt as fast as Snow in August as they build another 'duck house' in the gardens of their second homes graciously paid for by the tax payer at large.
I don't think I'm alone in saying that never in the history of Parliament (or at least since 1605 a.d.) have members of that House been held in so low esteem by the man in the street as they are today.
I'm afraid a 1.5% increase in Council tax is not going to endear any of you to any of us....
Must try harder.

Paul Robinson said...

A Tory Government certainly wouldn’t be so blatant or unequal Kev – also we in the East Riding are grant funded well below the National average, below our neighbours and below many unitary authorities of a similar size and geography.

I think if you look closely at the Conservative's localism agenda to move control, accountability and funding away from the ‘central bunker’ then you’ll perhaps take a slightly different, and more optimistic view.

Politicians are perceived as being the lowest of the low at the moment, and with some of our MPs this is rightly so. I’m not sure local councillors are held in quite the same esteem though. I try and be as open and transparent as I possibly can – much of my thinking and activities are detailed on this blog…… and I have also included any allowances or expenses I have claimed since being elected. I’m not sure I could be more open really….

But I take your point on the increase - 1.5% is a first step… and I look forward to lower increases, if any, in the years to come.

KevO (aka Bluetracker) said...

Paul, please don't think I'm tarring you with the same brush as others. In fact you are one councillor I feel I can trust insomuch as you being 'transparent' (as you put it). Others unfortunately, do not posses that trait within their genome and spout the same old jaded rhetoric time and time again..
"we're better than so and so"..." they did this not us" "we want to do that" "I voted for..." "They out-voted us" "We'll do things differently" ...we've heard it all before and it is as meaningless now as when it was first voiced.
Despite your transparency Paul, you are still shackled by having to 'tow the party line'...if you don't or you disagree too loudly, too often, you get ushered into political oblivion and the next we see of you is you fighting the next election an Independent candidate.
We could do with more councillors/politicians becoming 'transparent'. At present they have more faces than Big Ben and don't deserve our trust.
Elections these days are becoming a game of 'pin the tail on the donkey' or a choice of which party is likely to do the least damage rather than who will do the best job. Sadly it's becoming harder and harder to differentiate between the lot of you.

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall a comment that when the Conservatives gained control of the ERYC the waste and lack of control of some officers and their departments would come to an end.
What happened to these good intentions?
Nils illegitemi carborundum!