Harlow Labour leader: ‘Tories tall tales on council tax’

News / Mon 18th Oct 2021 at 08:02am

THE LEADER of the Harlow Labour group has continued to our pressure on the ruling Conservatives at Harlow Council over their pledge to cut council tax “immediately.

Cllr Chris Vince said: “In the lead up to May’s elections, Harlow Conservatives “set out their plan to cut district Council Tax immediately”, following what they called “an urgent review”. They maintained this was something that would be done “from day one”.

Well on Day 164 they delivered nothing more than an excuse and a deflection.

This audit would have no effect on the lowering of Council Tax anyway – but surely if Councillor Perrin and the Conservatives were comfortable enough to say that they would cut our Council Tax immediately, in all of their promises in their campaign material, then they would have been aware of this and made a plan for it. I didn’t see any caveats, did you?

As Cllr Danvers said in a recent full council meeting, all council accounts are up to date and in good order and just awaiting sign off from the external auditors. It is worth noting that in recent years the council has changed auditors and the new auditors have slightly different working practises which is part of the delay. I would like to take a moment to thank all of the staff who worked to get those accounts ready for audit – I hope they know their hard work is appreciated, although they may feel demoralised by Councillor Perrin’s comments now.

It is perhaps not surprising that the Conservative administration are on the defensive about Council Tax now. But we did warn them – we told them cutting Council Tax wasn’t feasible without cutting our services in Harlow. Of course, now campaign promises haven’t been delivered, the easy thing for the Conservatives to do is to blame Labour – a common theme unless they want to take credit for what we achieved in office.

It’s also worth emphasising, the majority of our Council Tax goes to Conservative run Essex County Council, and the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, and typically the only time you won’t see a Council Tax rise with them is in an election year. In fact, the truth of the matter is while on average only 17p per pound goes back into Harlow District Council, Essex County Council has raised Council Tax over the past five years by over £200.

So was the Conservative campaign based on mistruth or incompetence? Only they will know. What is clear to everyone is the Harlow Conservatives promised a cut in council tax by day one. They have failed to deliver.

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5 Comments for Harlow Labour leader: ‘Tories tall tales on council tax’:

2021-10-18 08:46:46

It's easy to throw insults about, actions are what counts and regarding Council Tax cuts all there's been from the Conservatives is talk, silence, then excuses.

Kay Morrison
2021-10-18 10:41:09

David Compton has only insults: no facts, no arguments. Probably qualifies as online abuse.

2021-10-18 10:51:19

Everyone seems to judge the performance of past administrations by the town centre: but isn't most of the town centre in the hands of private property speculators, who have sat on blocks of land and sections of the town centre for years and who are now poised to make pots of money now the Conservatives are in office building high rise flats no one wants. Purely coincidental that the Conservative Party received humongous donations from property developers and even locally very closely is linked to property development consultants that actually boast of "releasing" green belt land. No illegal conflict of interest here of course, might be a theoretical ethical issue worthy of debate.

Michael Hatton
2021-10-18 14:42:31

Sir. As usual the F I M group are at it again ! When Labours last sets of accounts are resolved, ratified and signed off, perhaps the new group leading the town hall will feel satisfied, that they needn't worry about any old skeletons hiding amongst the socialists debris. And, as usual, novowho is carving his own path through the chaos of Labour management.

Andy lee
2021-10-20 15:27:18

I courious as to why when talking about the oppersition councilors and MPs say things like, based on mistruth or incompetence? Why not just say, are they lying or incompetent? We know people lie in politics, we all known that Boris Johnson is a liar for instance, so why not stop beating about the bush and ask have the council lied?

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