Council tax

PUBLISHED: 14:14 01 March 2007 | UPDATED: 21:35 29 May 2010

IT IS important for Uttlesford residents to know what lies behind the decision of the LibDem leadership on Uttlesford District Council to go for a two per cent increase in council tax for 2007/08. The fact is the council under LibDem control has been prep

IT IS important for Uttlesford residents to know what lies behind the decision of the LibDem leadership on Uttlesford District Council to go for a two per cent increase in council tax for 2007/08.

The fact is the council under LibDem control has been preparing for a 4.5 per cent increase since last year.

However, at the eleventh hour LibDems panicked as the average district council tax increase next year is forecast at 3.1 per cent.

But officers were informed by the LibDem council leader that in order to achieve a two per cent increase a further £99,083 would be transferred from the financial management reserve reducing that reserve from a planned £131,760 to a mere £32,677.

Uttlesford's capital reserves were already decimated from £11 million in 2003 to less than half a million in the new budget. Uttlesford will have to borrow money in 2008/09.

Now the total revenue reserve is less than two million pounds. The budget for the current year is £700,000 overspent, it was £333,000 overspent the year before and if there is an overspend in 2007/08 the council will be in great difficulty. Do not rely on LibDem Focus leaflets for information. These figures are available to anyone who asks for a copy.

The council's budget in 2007/08 also depends on a number of savings being achieved. Uttlesford has created a significant number of new posts since 2003 and now cannot afford the consequences therefore a level of vacancies has to be held to achieve a saving on staff costs of £472,000.

The facts are that although there are significant problems with this budget the problems have been mounting over the past four years of Lib Dem spending with little to show for it other than the wheelie bins.

Jim Ketteridge

Conservative Group Leader

Uttlesford District Council

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