Posted: Fri 14th Jun 2019

Councillors urged to restrict tax rise for next year because of hardship caused to families

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jun 14th, 2019

Politcians in Flintshire are being asked to restrict the amount council tax is increased by next year after a warning was sounded about the burden placed on families.

People living in the county have experienced large rises of 6.7 and 8.17 per cent in the last two years in order to help Flintshire Council close its budget gap.

However, a recently created group of independent councillors led by former Labour deputy Bernie Attridge now wants that amount to be capped at 4.5 per cent next year.

The motion by the Flintshire Independents will be considered at a full council meeting next week.

Ahead of the gathering, one its members claimed homeowners were having difficulty in paying their bills following the recent hikes.

Cllr Helen Brown said: “Council tax rises are not a sustainable way of funding a budget gap.

“We are increasingly seeing working people pushed beyond limits, paying more and getting less.

“There are families struggling now, it is not fair at all.

“There is a whole raft of rising costs within personal budgets for people and to further burden our residents won’t be tolerated.”

The group’s leader Cllr Attridge quit party politics after almost 30 years at the start of last month following his fall out with former leader Aaron Shotton.

He previously acknowledged some people may be cynical of his stance on council tax having been part of the Labour administration which increased it, but has pledged to do ‘what’s best’ for residents.

The group’s deputy leader Carol Ellis said they wanted to give a clear mandate to the authority’s cabinet and senior management team for the next budget setting process.

She said: “Due to the amount of people who have made contact with councillors regarding the current council tax hike, it is obvious that people cannot afford to take the brunt of council shortfall.

“David Hanson MP has recently said in the press that he is shocked by the amount of children living in poverty.

“We believe many families are living hand to mouth yet there seems to be a reluctance to except the facts and act on them.”

The full council meeting where the motion is set to be heard will be held on Tuesday.

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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