Conservative-run East Northamptonshire Council is proposing a Council Tax rise of 3.5% – this is the absolute maximum possible without needing the approval of their residents in a referendum.

When led by Cllr Andy Mercer this council prided itself on keeping down the Council Tax. But under Cllr Steven North its rise will be among the highest in England. The figure chosen is quite blatant in showing the council plan to act against the wishes of those they are supposed to represent. If they claim otherwise then let why don't they have the confidence to let the people decide?

In such a referendum campaign they might have to explain why it was necessary to have both a Chief Executive and an Executive Director. They might be challenged over their monthly spending including thousands on consultants, agency staff, training conferences, staff advertising and membership subscriptions and also face concerns that ICT spending is spiralling out of control.

But instead they manage to evade this accountability by keeping the Council Tax rise to exactly 3.5%.