The average Council Tax bill in England for Band D in the coming financial year will be £1,414. Of course that is a crippling burden for many families and an appalling high figure. But for Labour-run Durham County Council, which includes Sedgefield, the bill is £1,602. That is one of the highest figures in the country. Among the 32 London boroughs only one – Kingston-upon-Thames where the Lib Dem wastrels are in their final weeks of power – is imposing a higher bill of £1,663.

The joint Lib Dem/Lab administration at Broxtowe is charging £1,607. Residents in Lewes, ground down by the Lib Dem heel are charged £1,643. The monkey in Hartlepool charges £1,671.

But Durham has among the highest bills. Furthermore they don't have the alibiof some of the others mentioned of central Government grant being reallocated north. Among its exceptional high spending is on spin – £3.729 million. As a former resident Tony Blair might be unconcerned by this seeing it as a priority. Maybe he sold up his property to ensure he didn't have to worry about the tax burden involved. Last year the Council spent £50,000 on eight Christmas trees – £6,250 a tree.

In any event I am pleased that Sedgefield returned a Conservative councillor as one of the two councillor for the division in elections two years ago. There are also some Conservative councillors on Darlington Council that come under the Sedgefield constituency. Things can only get better.

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