by timpickstone on 20 February, 2014
Liberal Democrats welcome Council Tax Freeze
The Liberal Democrat Group on Bury Council have welcomed the decision to freeze the Council Tax in Bury 2014-2015.
The freeze is possible thanks to a £772,000 grant from the Coalition Government – equivalent to a 1.2% increase in Council Tax for 2014-2015.
Councillor Tim Pickstone, Bury’s Lib Dem Leader said:
“These are difficult times for many people and it is great that the Coalition is helping with the cost of living by enabling councils to freeze Council Tax.
“It is only a shame that Bury’s Labour Council didn’t take this free money last year and instead made us all suffer a 2.5% rise (6.8% for over 60s).”
Labour Councillors voted down Liberal Democrat proposals to invest more money in roads and to provide additional help for young people finding work.
“Bury’s roads and pavements are at breaking point with pot-holes and uneven surfaces wherever you look. It is a disgrace that Labour Councillors voted against £4 million of investment in roads, even though they seem happy to pay out £3 million in compensation for uneven roads and pavements in the last three years!”
The Lib Dem Councillors also welcomed, and fully supported, the decision to invest £500,000 in Bury New Road through Prestwich.
Councillor Donal O’Hanlon, who represents Prestwich Village, said:
“Bury New Road urgently needs attention to improve both traffic flow and parking for local businesses. We have been campaigning for this for years and wrote to the Council’s Executive Director only a month ago asking for just this. It is great that the Council has finally seen common sense”.
“Prestwich remains at the bottom of the list for investment for Bury Council. £1/2 million is great, but is nothing compared to the £25 million being invested in Radcliffe”.
Bury Council Budget Highlights
– Council Tax rise (the Bury Council element) will be 0% for 2014-15. (There will be a small rise as the Labour Police Commission has put up his element of the Council Tax.)
– Council (Six Town Housing) house rents will go up by an average of 2.5%
– The Council has decided to spend £12.4 million on improvements to council (Six Town Housing) houses over the next three years.
– £500,000 to improve Bury New Road through Prestwich.
Liberal Democrat Proposals (voted down by Labour)
– £2 million investment in repairing roads and pavements (taken from balances)
– £200,000 to improve Bury New Road through Prestwich
– £200,000 a year (for three years) to pay for a a shop unit (e.g. at the Longfield) to be converted into an centre to help young people into employment.
– £200,000 LESS spent on management costs – by changing the way that the Council is structured (not having a ‘Directorate’ structure.
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