Council tax should not rise, says MP

By Emily Pearce

Thursday, February 20, 2014

 

COUNCIL Tax should not rise and services should not be farmed out to town and parish councils, according to Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner.

Instead, the local authority should 'cut it's cloth' and decide which services were important enough to continue providing, he said.

"When the Independents were elected they said they would not increase council tax and they should stick by that. I would not support a rise.

"In my view, you should keep any tax as low as you can," said Mr Turner.

"They say things are so awful, that services have to be handed over to town and parish councils. I do not accept that. We all have to cut our cloth according to our income. Councils are no different. They have to decide what their priorities are and not put them onto someone else.

"You can always argue there are extenuating circumstances, but you have to find another way," he added.

Ultimately, it was a matter for elected members, at both county and local level, to decide whether to raise taxes, said Mr Turner.

His comments came ahead of next Wednesday's budget-setting meeting, when councillors will consider how best to save £28m over the next three years — following savage cuts from central government — and whether council tax should be increased.

The Independents' Framework for Change election manifesto stated: "There are no plans to increase council tax beyond the levels supported by central government."

A report due to go before the full council next Wednesday has recommended freezing council tax in the coming year, but considering a rise the following year.

Senior Independents have said they would be open to considering the idea of raising council tax by 1.99 per cent from April.

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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by david wright

21st February 2014, at 22:50:02

CONT.
Xp a week police precept!

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by david wright

21st February 2014, at 22:49:16

I never ,ever, thought i would agree with Andrew Turner!!!

Recent posts on other threads councilors refuse to accept that the Government is cutting grants to local authorities not because of political agenda or bias,not because they want to cause difficulty to local authorities but because this country is broke!!

UK Government is borrowing £500million A DAY. If anyone thinks this is sustainable please tell me how?

Yes the councilors will say but look at the money 'found' for flood victims and foreign aid and HS2 project BUT is this any different to the spending by council on their 'pet' projects?

Government and Councils manage large budgets and they need to prioritize non mandatory expenditure. As much as people(Councillors!) say 'Oh its only another 50p a week' to stop IOW Councils ship sinking it doesn't cure the problem of spending money they dont have and neither do we the tax payer!!!

Note also it would be 50p a week council tax PLUS Xp a week parish and Xp a

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by Tina Burstow

21st February 2014, at 10:04:12

Aside from all this positioning by the MP and the defensive response from leading independents, there is one fundamental question which needs answering: did Andrew Turner vote for the cuts in government funding that led us to this situation?

In my opinion Turner can bleat as much as if he liked, but if he trooped through the voting lobby to support the 2010 Emergency Budget, the 2011 budget, the 2012 budget and the 2013 budget (along with any other votes on government budgets) it therefore follows that he can be held directly accountable for the situation the Island now finds itself in.

It is unacceptable that he just wrings his hands and leaves the difficult local decisions to councillors.

I can't be bothered to look it up on Hansard but I guess my assumptions above are correct. He is a right-wing member of the majority party and undoubtedly voted for these funding cuts.

I thought Mr Turner was supposed to represent the Island's interests to Westminster, not the other way

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by Dave Dawson

21st February 2014, at 09:48:35

@Councillor Stubbings. I do not see the relevance of who I am in your response. Just to help you I voted for the Independents so no hidden political agenda.

I arrive at my conclusions by witnessing events first hand. Having witnessed some of your meetings with towns and parish councils I do not hold out too much hope as you (representing the council) do not appear to have a grasp of the subject you went along to talk about. This does not fill me with confidence and continues to suggest to me that officers are still the puppet masters

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by Jack Woodford

21st February 2014, at 07:58:28

The real issue for the Indy dudes is one of plausibility and honestly. They were elected on a platform of opposing cuts to local services and they are now having to do just that - and some. That reeks of an electoral fib and, as everyone knows, the general public does not like to feel as though they have been hoodwinked.
It is clear that the need for cuts are not of this administration's making but it is this administration that naively or deceptively raised expectations in opposition.
They made their bed and now they are tossing and turning in it and face a very real danger of being kicked out at the earliest opportunity unless they can come up with an alchemic solution.
Best of luck fellas and next time behave a little more responsibly in opposition.
One more thing, as the Island faces landslips and all sorts of unexpected interruptions to its infrastructure, is this the best time to be raiding balances and reserves?

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by John James

21st February 2014, at 07:39:58

Its all very well telling people to cut their cloth but its not his cloth being cut is it. Its school patrols, public loos etc. I support a rise in CT but only on those in the highest bands, second homes and also landlords not just their tenants should make a contribution currently they pay nothing when a property is let.

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by Brian Gapp

21st February 2014, at 06:53:11

This is what happens when you elect a bunch of amateurs to run the Council. Start with a cull of unproductive staff.

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by steve stubbings

21st February 2014, at 06:36:05

p.s. Dave, things are ALWAYS difficult.

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by steve stubbings

21st February 2014, at 06:35:00

@Mr Dawson
I'm unable to comment on your point about a lack of confidence and knowledge as I don't know who you are or the grounds upon which you arrive at your conclusion As to the Framework for Change, I still believe in it. My original post highlighted the fact that it had been misquoted by the MP in his diatribe. You appear to have ignored that completely.

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by Dave Dawson

20th February 2014, at 23:03:44

@Steve Stubbings - My point is quite clear, even the Independent leader of the council does not believe the contents of the Framework for Change.

It would be refreshing to have sound bites confined to the independent waste bin and not trotted out every time things get difficult. Let us not forget why the group was elected, the electorate was not aspirational it believed that the independents would deliver.

Travelling around towns and parishes to discuss devolving responsibility needs to be done with confidence and knowledge of the subjects discussed. The reality is quite the opposite.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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