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Rossendale councillors freeze council tax
4:00pm Saturday 16th February 2013 in News
COUNCILLORS have highlighted a ‘north-south’ divide after reluctantly deciding on a council tax freeze in Rossendale.
Critics say the valley authority’s spending power has been reduced by nearly 50 per cent because of government cuts.
But Coun Patrick Marriott, the council’s finance cabinet member, said this was not the case in the likes of West Oxfordshire - the home council of Prime Minister David Cameron - and Royal Tunbridge Wells.
He told a cabinet meeting it was a ‘bitter pill to swallow’ for taxpayers in Rossendale when they saw the government awarding increasing spending capabilities for southern councils.
“You could say we are not all in this together,” he added.
“The government favours some areas and our MP is following his party’s line and turning his back on his constituency.”
Council leader Coun Alyson Barnes added: “This has not been an easy task at all - our settlement was poor and will have some very negative impacts for the borough down the line.”
She said the authority had reluctantly decided to take advantage of the council tax freeze grant offered by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.
“I think the cuts which are being sustained by local government are unprecedented and I don’t know how district councils can sustain this level of reductions.”
Waste collection and pest control charges, hire fees for the likes of council pitches and cemetery and cremation fees, are set to rise by between two and three per cent.
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