Council Leader accuses Harlow Conservatives of misleading residents over Council Tax rises
News / Fri 6th Mar 2020 am31 10:33am
Harlow Council Leader accuses Harlow Conservatives of misleading residents over Council Tax rises
AT a Full Council meeting last Thursday (27 February) the Labour administration voted through Council Tax rates for Harlow resident for 2020/2021.
Labour leader Mark Ingall said: “Residents should be aware that 85p in every £1 we collect goes straight to Tory controlled Essex County Council and we have absolutely no control over the demands they make for more money from Harlow residents.
“Council Tax payers will notice when they get their bills that their Council Tax is increasing by £55 a year for a Band C property. Of that, just £4.92 a year or 9p a week is an increase from Harlow Council. The vast majority of the increase – £45.04 of the £55 – is an increase levied by the Conservatives in Essex County Council. On top of that, another £5.04 a year increase is being levied on Harlow residents by the Conservative Police and Fire Commissioner for Essex.
“So of the £55 increase, less than £5 is due to Harlow Labour but more than £50 is due to the Conservatives , yet in Harlow the Conservatives are trying to present themselves as a Council Tax cutting party, which I think is very misleading.
“To add insult to injury, Tory Councillors who serve on both Harlow District Council and Essex County Council and who have done nothing publicly to oppose the huge rises imposed on Harlow’s residents by Essex at meetings of Essex County Council, in an act of rank hypocrisy, voted against those very same increases in Harlow Council’s budget setting meeting last Thursday.”
I am somewhat perplexed: Cllr Ingall has not explained how or what the Conservatives have said which is misleading. Yes, the Essex county proportion of the council tax is higher, it is the same everywhere else in the country as counties have responsibility for bigger budget items, such as social care. Cllr Ingall knows this. As to the vote, this was a vote at Harlow Council, not Essex County (we had that vote earlier this year). I personally preferred the Conservative alternative budget for the town which was far better so I voted against the Labour Council - all my colleagues were of the same view.
Why when quoting council tax, does Councillor Ingall always refer to Band C, when the majority of properties are in Band D ? Would it be that because the band C is so much cheaper, so obviously, it presents a prettier picture. Just asking.