Photo: Sefton Council leader Ian Maher
Last night’s meeting of Sefton Council at Bootle Town Hall saw the controlling Labour Group vote through a council tax rise of 4%. As a result the tax payable for a Band D property rises by £57 a year. Liberal Democrat and Conservative councillors voted against the move, but were defeated 38 to 18.
Southport Lib Dem councillors Sue McGuire, Simon Shaw and Iain Brodie Brodie Browne all spoke, voicing their concerns about the inflation-busting increase and Formby Conservative Cllr Simon Jamieson also spoke.
The Lib Dem speakers attacked this year’s rise, with Cllr Simon Shaw highlighting the prospect of massive Council Tax rises over the period running up to the next general election – amounting to £300 more by 2020. He also described the 4% increase as a “stealth tax”, far in excess of the rise in income of pensioners or most of those in work. He added:
“The really disappointing thing was that the Labour Party speakers showed absolutely no sympathy for those who have to pay this inflation-busting increase. It’s the Conservative Government who are sanctioning these 4% rises, as well as cutting council funding, but Labour give the impression that they think a £300 rise is perfectly acceptable.”
Also condemned by the Lib Dems was the Labour proposal, effective from June, to more than double the minimum charge for on-street parking in Southport, from 70p to £1.50, with the minimum 30 minute period being scrapped.
Lib Dem leader Cllr Sue McGuire highlighted the massive discrepancies in parking charges across the authority. She pointed out that Southport shoppers and leisure centre users consistently have to pay more than those in other parts of the Borough. Whereas Southport was losing its cheaper half hour parking period, Bootle gets to keep theirs.
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