BUDGET REACTION: Councillors blame Conservative government for 5% council tax rise in Peterborough

The Conservative government is being blamed for a proposed five per cent council tax rise in Peterborough.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 1st February 2017, 12:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st February 2017, 12:23 pm
Councillors John Holdich and David Seaton with the budget. EMN-170127-165644009
Councillors John Holdich and David Seaton with the budget. EMN-170127-165644009

Group leaders on Peterborough City Council said the authority had no choice but to propose the increase which would see the average taxpayer cough up an extra £45 from April.

The five per cent rise is included in the council’s latest budget proposals which will be voted on in March.

The council, which has lost more than half of its government grant since 2010, has a £28 million deficit to bridge.

Cllr Chris Ash, group leader of the Liberal Party, said the financial burden was being passed on by the Conservative government to the local taxpayer.

He added: “We will have little option, if we are to maintain vital services, to go along with an increase in council tax. Yet at the same time central government has come up with a vast sum of money to push through a new mayor.”

UKIP group leader Cllr John Whitby also blamed government cuts for the council tax rise. He said: “No-one would want to increase council tax unless they had to, but if we didn’t the only option would be to start making serious cuts.”

Labour group leader Cllr Mohammed Jamil said: The Conservative government continues to starve local authorities in respect of the funding it devolves. There seems to be no let up as services are diminished.”

Other budget proposals include rising parking fees, a £7.5 million investment in Millfield and New England and a Peterborough Lottery.

For more budget reaction see Thursday’s Peterborough Telegraph.