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Chesterfield abandons plans for Council Tax rise

Labour-run Chesterfield Borough Council has abandoned plans for a 3.5% Council Tax rise after opposition from residents. As I reported earlier the council said their proposals were subject to a consultation. Despite the council dishonestly claiming that a freeze would mean "having to make cuts to front line services" they did not get support for the tax hike.

The Lib Dems also gathered a petition against it with a thousand signatures.

The Labour council leader Cllr John Burrows said that "overall people have told us they favour a freeze on Council Tax as many households are suffering financially."

He adds:

"We have decided to accept the Government's offer of a Council Tax Freeze grant equivalent to a 2.5% increase in exchange for our freezing the Council Tax for 2012/13.

"This has been an interesting debate on the doorstep. A 3.5% increase in Council Tax for most Chesterfield households equates to an extra 6p to 9p per week. It would also add an extra £45,000 in 2012/13 and an extra £160,000 per year thereafter to our budgets for spending on Council services.

"However, as household bills are increasing all the time, we believe it would be unfair to put further pressure on households at this time." 

So an embarrassing u-turn. But so much more sensible than going ahead with a tax rise that local residents did not regard as justified.


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