Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Tax freeze promise by county Tories

09:57 15 February 2013

Mark Bee

Mark Bee

Archant

SUFFOLK’S element of council tax bills is to be frozen for the next four years if the Tories retain power at Endeavour House.

shares

That was the pledge made to the county council yesterday as it agreed to the third council tax freeze running.

Leader Mark Bee made the pledge during the council’s budget debate – but it was immediately questioned by opposition councillors who dismissed it as an attempt to gain more votes in May’s elections.

And yesterday evening the administration wrote to Local Government secretary Eric Pickles to tell him of the pledge.

Mr Bee announced the proposed freeze during the budget debate at Endeavour House. He said: “I am proud to announce today that if we are re-elected in May we will freeze the council tax, not just for the first year but for all four years of the next council.

“And we will do this and protect front line services for the most vulnerable in our society. That is our pledge. That is our commitment.”

This provoked cheers from his own side – but did not impress the opposition.

Liberal Democrat councillor Craig Dearden-Phillips said: “I don’t see how you can make such a commitment for four years. How do you know what the situation will be in two years’ time?”

And his group leader, David Wood, said the move was clearly made to get the headlines from the budget debate in the run-up to the elections.

Earlier the Conservative administration had defeated a Liberal Democrat amendment to the budget which would have led to the council spending more on education by taking £1.7million from reserves.

It was proposed by Lib Dem deputy leader John Field who said the problems faced by Suffolk schools had been well documented, and money needed to be spent to increase support for them.

However council deputy leader and cabinet member for finance Jane Storey said reserves should not be raided for this kind of issue: “The money in the reserves can only be spent once.”

During the main debate Lib Dem Mr Wood said he understood the need for tight spending restraint, but there were issues that caused great concern.

He said: “There are significant cuts in adult and community services, yet again aiming the biggest reductions in areas where we provide for the vulnerable, which inevitably makes us question the effect on frontline services.”

During her introduction to the budget debate, Mrs Storey had said that most people only use the county council’s roads and – when they are young – its schools.

Labour leader Sandy Martin said everyone in Suffolk was a potential user of its adult care services: “We all need to have good services provided in the county,” he added.

During her summing up at the end of the debate Mrs Storey said that figures showed only 3% of the population of Suffolk used adult and care services – but the freeze in council tax bills would benefit all householders.

Some members of the cabinet outlined what the departments they are responsible for had acheived over the last year.

Lisa Chambers, who is responsible for environmental issues, said work was continuing on the incinerator – or energy from waste plant – at Great Blakenham.

She said: “This is proceeding much more smoothly than it is in some other parts of the country not that far away from Suffolk.”

Controversial proposals to build an incinerator at Kings Lynn have split the Tories in Norfolk.

The budget was approved by the significant majority of 39 votes to 11 – but a substantial number of councillors had left the chamber well before the end of the three-hour debate.

Related articles

shares

3 comments

  • I'm sure the SCC employees who are going to lose their jobs because of the ongoing cuts to frontline services ( yes FRONTLINE Mr.B)will be delighted! The Tories need to locate a bit of common sense and ask the people if they want a moderate inflationary rise in Council Tax...or more cuts to services...but real Localism and Democracy are just a con with a big C!

    Report this comment

    Dogberry

    Friday, February 15, 2013

  • It's so insulting to the electorate that the politicians believe they can buy votes this easily. We haven't got short memories and we remember that the County Council were intent on cutting libraries, school crossing patrols and adult care. A leopard doesn't change its spots and neither will this lot.

    Report this comment

    skrich

    Saturday, February 16, 2013

  • Certainly smacks of a desperate desire to be re-elected as their party are so unpopular with their spiteful language about ANYONE out of work and sadly dependent on the State...decent, ordinary people are sick of the bile that emits from the mouths of Eric the Pie, IDS & Co.

    Report this comment

    Dogberry

    Friday, February 15, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Abbey Gardens - are you proud of Suffolk's green spaces?

Welcome to Suffolk Says – your opportunity to give your views on a range of important issues in our county.

Emergency services at the scene at the multi-storey car park in Bury on November 28.

A 64-year-old woman who died after falling from a multi-storey car park in Bury St Edmunds committed suicide, an inquest has heard.

Sea Road, Felixstowe

Concern is growing after a fourth woman was sexually assaulted by a cyclist in Felixstowe.

Parliament has been dissolved today

Parliament has today been officially dissolved ahead of the General Election on May 7, when the nation will decide who will rule the country in coming years.

Christopher Hardman

Moving tributes have been paid to singer-songwriter and TV personality Christopher Hardman - Lil’ Chris.

An A-10C Thunderbolt II from the 355th Fighter Wing flies with two F-15C Eagles from the 493rd Fighter Squadron, March 13, 2015. The A-10s were deployed out of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., as part of a Theater Security Package in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. While visiting Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, for five days, they conducted training alongside NATO allies to strengthen interoperability and demonstrate U.S. commitment to the security and stability of Europe. (

An unusual visitor to skies above west Suffolk was stationed at RAF Lakenheath over last week to help strengthen ties between the US Air Force and their NATO partners.

Bury Road, Thetford

Police have closed Bury Road in Thetford after a lorry and car collided.

Brave Hope Puttock, who was born with Downs Syndrome and underwent open heart surgery when just five-months old, is celebrating her eighth birthday with a party at Play2Day.

There were smiles all round as a brave Suffolk eight-year-old celebrated her birthday in style.

An East of England Ambulance Trust ambulance. Photograph Simon Parker

A man has been taken to hospital after crushing his leg between two pallets in Stowmarket.

Colne Valley Railway

An award winning tourist attraction says it will have to leave its home of 40 years because its landlord is selling up.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages