Conservative-run Aylesbury Vale District Council is considering a Council Tax increase of 2.5%. Perversely a Labour opposition councillor says "this will affect people on lower and fixed incomes and pensions who
have no ability to meet this rise. At the moment I find myself unable to support it.”
But there are also members of the Council's Cabinet who have spoken out against it. Cllrs Phil Yerby and Sir Beville Stanier saying "take the money."
Of course the Council's Finance Director recommends the increase. Dogs bark. Cats meow. Council finance office recommend higher Council Tax. The greater the revenue they have from this source the easier their job is to balance the budget. But should Conservative councillors preside over ever higher taxation?
Cabinet Member for Resources Cllr Neil Blake, says "most members of the public will understand and accept the reasons" for higher Council Tax. Then let him ask them. Accept the freeze for 2012/13, which was cost the Council nothing given the opportunity, as Cllrs Yerby and Stainer succinctly put it to "take the money" in extra central Government grant. Then have the sharper increase for 2012/13. That would mean a referendum to see if "most members of the public" really do "accept" the Council Tax rise – or whether they would prefer the Council to do better in finding more savings instead.