TONY GREAVES RAISES COLNE’S 6% RISE IN COUNCIL TAX IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS

Pendle-based Liberal Democrat Lord Tony Greaves, who represents Colne’s
Waterside Ward on Pendle Council, raised the 6% Council Tax rise in the
town in the House of Lords. He asked if this compared with an average 4½%
rise across England.

He said: “Local authorities are being hollowed out, their services are
being slashed and in many areas they are teetering on the edge of an
existential crisis. Will the Conservative Party go to the elections this
year and tell people: ‘Vote Conservative—get less, pay more’?” 

The Government Minister, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, said “the
calculation is almost certainly going to be that the level is 4.8%” and
that “decisions on Council tax levels are for local authorities”.

Lord Greaves replied ironically that it is “amazing” that most Councils
set the tax at the level suggested by the Government.

Tony Greaves said afterwards: “The truth is that here in Pendle the rises
are all those set by the Government – 14% for the police, 4% for the
Lancashire County Council, 3% for Pendle. Only the Town and Parish
Councils are free to set their own levels – and in Colne the Town Council
has increased their share of the Council tax by 26%. This is why Colne is
higher than the rest of Pendle.

“But in spite of these huge rises – now over £2000 a year for Band D
households, and £1266 even for Band A – local services are being cut yet
again. The responsibility lies fairly and squarely with the Government
which year after year is cutting back the funding it provides directly to
Councils such as Pendle and Lancashire.”

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