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Denounced by Sir Jeremy Beecham

Sir Jeremy Beecham, leader of the Labour Group on the Local Government Association, and Cllr Richard Kemp, leader of the Lib Dems on the LGA, have joined forces to denounce the list I wrote on Friday of "100 ways to cut Council Tax without cutting key services." While Cllr Beecham called it "a vicious attack on the most vulnerable in our communities" by contrast Cllr Kemp called it a "nasty attack on the most vulnerable in our communities."

I don't suppose either of them read the list before putting their names to the imaginative quotes drafted for them by their LGA Press Officers. Had they done so they would have seen that many items on the list included greater help for the most vulnerable. They might also have paused to reflect that many vulnerable people struggle to pay extortionate Council Tax bills.

If they had read the list they might also have indicated which items they disagreed with. Of course the list was my own. Some suggestions were inspired by savings that had been achieved by own my own Council, some by other councils. Are Labour and Lib Dems denouncing the whole list? If so do they have an alternative list or do they not regard value for money as a worthy objective.

I suspect the item would have really concerned their researchers was No 28. "Cancel your annual subscription to the Local Government Association...."

Incidentally, Sir Jeremy is an opposition councillor on Lib Dem-run Newcastle Council. The high Council Tax bills in that city reflect decades of Labour and Lib Dem misrule. Local Conservatives are calling for a Council Tax cut and are challenging the Council to a referendum on their plans for yet further increases.


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