Labour calls for Council Tax rise

By Martin Neville

Monday, February 24, 2014

 

LABOUR has tabled an amendment to Wednesday’s Isle of Wight Council budget meeting, to increase council tax from April.

Instead of a tax freeze, as proposed by ruling Independents, Labour’s Cllr Geoff Lumley has proposed a 1.99 per cent hike, which would add around £521,000 to cash-strapped council coffers.

The extra money would be used to save services such as school crossing patrols, delay pedestrian charges on the Cowes chain ferry by at least a year, retain beach safety equipment and abandon charges for children to swim in school holidays.

If approved, it would increase the Band D precept by £25.79 from April.

Cllr Lumley called for the increase earlier this month when he said: "With a £28 million gap to fill over the next three years, it is going to look a little odd to Islanders that their council tax is going to be frozen again next year.

"Half-a-million might seem a small amount but there are proposals I have identified in the budget that could be removed because of that."

At the time, deputy leader Cllr Steve Stubbings said they would be "open to the suggestion."

Reporter: martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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