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Letter to the Editor: Opposing Tory Tax Hikes

March 27, 2008 6:00 PM
By Tim Prater in Letter to the Editor, Folkestone & Hythe Herald

Thanks to Cllr Carey for pointing out in last weeks Herald that the Liberal Democrats opposed the Shepway Council budget. The Conservative budget saw a massive increase in the expenditure on "strategy and leadership", but precious little for improving front line services such as street cleaning or safety. The budget also saw the Council Tax raised as far as possible without capping, some Council fees raised hugely, and the introduction of the Councils new £35 Garden Tax on recycling. What's not to oppose?

Just last year, the Conservatives increased the size of the "cabinet" of Conservative Councillors (who are each paid £8,000 a year) from 7 to 10, at a cost of around £100,000 over 4 years. A proper budget would have started from scratch on this and all other budget headings, and sought to deliver better value for local tax payers. That's not the job of a few budget amendments, but a completely new start. If Cllr Carey cannot understand that, it's more than scary.

The Liberal Democrats also opposed an amendment from Cllrs Copping and Marsh which aimed to take money away from Folkestone Sports provision. The Liberal Democrats simply do not agree, and believe sports facilities in Folkestone need better support, not less.