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Labour-run Hastings Council approved a freeze in the Council Tax on Wednesday evening – rejecting proposals from the Conservative opposition for a 1% cut without any reduction in front line services.

Cllr Matthew Beaver, on behalf of the Conservative Group proposing the 1% cut said “this will make a modest difference to fixed income earners, but in conjunction with the Conservative led Government council tax freeze, it will make the average council taxpayer even better off”.

The Conservative Group also proposed to increase spending on community partnership funding by cutting councillors allowances by 5%, however Labour decided not to debate this, instead on a point of order they had this ruled out of order as apparently Hastings have to accept the proposals of the independent remuneration Committee. This sounds most odd. There are plenty of other which have felt it right to approve lower allowances than recommended. Why should the law be different in Hastings? I feel confident that the Labour Group's concern about technical difficulties in reducing councillor allowances could be overcome.