ESSEX: Council rejects tax deduction

PUBLISHED: 14:10 25 February 2010 | UPDATED: 07:33 30 May 2010

A FINAL effort to reduce the burden imposed on taxpayers has been described as imprudent budgeting and rejected by councillors. At a full meeting of Uttlesford District Council last Thursday, members of the Liberal Democrat party proposed a reduced coun

A FINAL effort to reduce the burden imposed on taxpayers has been described as "imprudent budgeting" and rejected by councillors.

At a full meeting of Uttlesford District Council last Thursday, members of the Liberal Democrat party proposed a reduced council tax rise of 1.2 per cent instead of 2.9 per cent.

Group leader for the Lib Dems, Cllr Peter Wilcock, said: "It is vital that the council keep its expenditure under control, and by proposing to reduce this year's budget by £80,000 it would help the hard pressed tax payer too.

"The council is expecting to save at least £1 million this year from savings and unbudgeted income. We thought it was only right to share this with the council tax payer.

"It is a shame that the Conservative administration would not accept our sensible amendment."

Leader of the council, Cllr Jim Ketteridge, slammed the amendment saying: "We cannot and will not take risks that could lead to the sort of situation we faced three years ago, we all saw the outcome of unfettered spending and imprudent budgeting. We must not go back there."

He added that the progress the council had made in restoring financial stability over the past two years was "remarkable".

"The budget we are setting provides for reserves at a level we are advised by our Section 151 Officer is a minimum safe level for the contingencies that may arise," he said.


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