A row broke out at North Devon Council’s tax setting meeting between Conservative and Liberal Democrat Councillors over the increase in the level of Council Tax for 2018/19.
Liberal Democrat members wanted the Council to stick by its previously agreed financial plan level of 1.99 pc but the Conservatives, supported by Independent Councillors, pushed through a higher increase of 2.99 pc.
Shadow Council Leader Lib Dem Brian Greenslade said “at a time when RPI is rising at 4.1 pc combined council tax increases of around 5 pc will hit family budgets hard. There is no need for this. We left NDC in a robust financial state in 2015 even after four years of freezing the NDC council tax. Since the Conservatives took over running NDC council tax has gone up every year, car park charges have gone up and charges for green waste collections have been introduced. Now they have hiked up the council tax by more than the medium term financial plan had proposed. Not good news for low income families in North Devon.
While we failed to stop them piling on the effects of their Government cutting support for local government onto the council tax payer we nevertheless forced a re think on cuts to strategic grants like support for the CAB and these organisations will see their funding protected at the same level as in 2017/18.
The real problem in all this is that Devon Tory MP’s like the North Devon MP vote for cuts to local government grants time and time again!”.