Posted: Thu 30th May 2019

New Independent Group calls for Council Tax rises to be capped at 4.5% in Flintshire

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, May 30th, 2019

A newly established group of independent politicians has called on Flintshire Council cabinet and senior management to cap the next round of council tax hikes at 4.5 per cent. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Over the past two years, Flintshire householders have been hit with unprecedented rises in council tax of 6.7 per cent and 8.75 per cent respectively as the authority looks to fill a budget ‘black hole’ driven by constant Welsh Government underfunding. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Flintshire Independents say they have been approached by local residents who can no longer afford to shoulder the “brunt of the council shortfall.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The group led by former Labour deputy leader of the council Bernie Attridge has submitted their first Notice of Motion that will be heard at the next county council meeting in June. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The notice of motion calls upon Flintshire County Council to “give a clear mandate to the cabinet and the senior management team that the council tax be capped at 4.5 per cent for the next budget setting process. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

We call for this due to representations made by many residents in Flintshire that the 8.75% increase that has been set for the 2019/2020 is causing hardship and poverty within our county.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Independent Councillor 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.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Councillor Carol Ellis Deputy Leader of the Group says, “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.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Figures released earlier this month showed that Wales was the only UK nation to see a rise in child poverty last year the research shows. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Nearly three in 10 children were in poverty in 2017-18, a rise of 1 per cent – at a local level parts of Flintshire have seen a 2 per cent rise. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Flintshire Independents was formed when Cllr Bernie Attridge quit party politics after almost 30 years in April after he claimed the fall out from his sacking from cabinet by ex-Flintshire Council leader Aaron Shotton had made his position untenable. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

He initially joining the New Independents on the authority but decided to launch a new independent group including Cllrs Carol Ellis, Helen Brown and George Hardcastle, who used to be part of a separate faction. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The leader of the newly established Flintshire Independents said he had become disillusioned with national politics, and blasted Labour’s treatment of former Alyn and Deeside AM Carl Sargeant, who died days after he was sacked from the Welsh Government cabinet in 2017. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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