Harlow Tories slam “sham” budget consultation

Politics / Thu 3rd Jul 2014 at 12:02pm

HARLOW Council has launched a household consultation for their 2015/16 budget.

The survey asks residents to select which of 20 services listed they would like to spend more or less on, or even cease.

There are also questions about the level of Council Tax and what the Administration’s priorities should be.

The consultation runs until the end of August 2014.

Councillor Andrew Johnson, Leader of Harlow Conservatives said:

“The Conservative group welcome this consultation – Labour failed to get round to consulting on the budget last year, so this is an improvement.

However, I have some concerns that this process is being carried out over the summer holiday period, with the results, which could spark a very good public debate, not available for nearly six months. Why the delay?

I also have concerns that the online survey could be abused as it appears to allow multiple responses from individuals.

If there is going to be consultation on the budget, which is the right thing to do, then it should be more comprehensive and not open to abuse.”

Cllr Joel Charles, Deputy Leader of Harlow Conservatives added:

“The budget consultation is an important opportunity for residents to have their say about the Council services that they value the most.

I am deeply concerned that Labour-run Harlow Council is planning to increase Council Tax for a third year. There are also questions over the long-term future of our community services.

The Conservative Group has consistently called for a Council Tax freeze and for the administration to set out their long-term plan for the future of Pets’ Corner and the Playhouse.

I fear that the Labour Party will attempt to use this consultation to justify further Council Tax increases and cuts to popular services.”

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