Cllr George Barratt, who represents Mayesbrook Ward on Barking and Dagenham Council has resigned from the Labour Group and been expelled by the Labour Party. The dispute is due to his opposition to the Council's £20 million spending cuts. Cllr Barratt has been told these are inevitable as a result of cuts in grants from central Government.
In a sense Cllr Barratt has got a point when he says there is a choice. At present Barking and Dagenham collects in £52.5 million in Council Tax. They could just put up Council Tax by 38% and they wouldn't need to cut spending. A bold, principled Socialist stance. The only snag is that they would need to get the increase approved in a referendum.
Does Cllr Barratt really think that such approval would be likely?