Local Conservatives are hoping to stop Council tax hikes in the South Lakeland this evening (22nd Feb 2017). Conservative Councillors on South Lakeland District Council are putting forward amendments to the Council budget meeting, proposing not to put up Council tax and instead freeze the bill for residents.
South Lakeland District Council is run by Liberal Democrats who are proposing a 2.8% increase in Council tax, the highest amount allowed before calling a referendum. The South Lakeland Council tax increase would be on top of the 4% Council tax increase proposed by Liberal Democrats on Cumbria County Council.
The Shadow portfolio for Finance is Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale Councillor Kevin Lancaster who says that keeping council tax down is “the right thing to do” saying:
“The financial well-being of residents and businesses within the district is equally important with the financial well-being of the council itself. For that reason we propose a balanced budget with an improvement in the quality of the service provided to residents, no increase in the council tax and no reduction in the financial well-being of the council.”
Savings have been proposed by the Conservatives in areas including Council Corporate Communication, External Training for Councillors and the Chairman’s Expenses whilst raising more money from assets like Braithwaite Fold Caravan site in Bowness-on-Windermere which is owned by the Council.
Leader of the Conservatives in South Lakeland is Windermere’s Ben Berry who said he is proud to be supporting amendments to not increase Council Tax. He commented saying:
“My team have worked long and hard to come up with a fully costed solution that means residents don’t have to pay a penny more than they do now to receive a better service. Residents can clearly see the difference in how a Conservative Council would be run, with value for money for residents at the core, rather than the quick and lazy option of maximum Council tax hikes from the Lib Dems.”