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Opinion divided on proposed council tax freeze

by Sam Morris

(De Montfort University student)

Proposal to freeze council tax is to be considered tomorrow (February 4) as habitants of Leicestershire were originally expecting a 1.5 per cent rise.

Leicestershire County Council is to meet tomorrow to discuss a council tax freeze as the government has offered a £2.4 million grant that will contribute to the council’s budget.

Annette Howes, 45, systematic physiotherapist of Main Street, Theddingworth, Leicestershire, said: “Freezing council tax is a good idea.

“We have been paying an astronomical amount of council tax the last few years and our services have been reduced.”

The Council’s cabinet hopes to save £110 million by the year 2018 and the January proposal was planning to implement a rise of 1.5 per cent to the current tax which has been frozen for the past three years.

Council deputy leader and finance spokesman Byron Rhodes, said: “We’re proposing to freeze council tax for the fourth consecutive year, as the government will top up our funds.”

In hope to save money, Leicestershire aim to freeze the current rate of tax due to the government grant being reduced and a much higher demand for an increase in care services.

Craig Sumner, 40, of Waterloo Crescent, Countesthorpe, Leicestershire, said:  “The thing that worries me is Council Tax being frozen and then police numbers being cut, as that has been suggested recently as well.”

With residents of Leicestershire having mixed views, Mr. Rhodes went on to add: “It’s welcome news for taxpayers in these hard times but it still does not change the big picture – that we have to save £110 million by 2018, which will require a lot of tough decisions.”

The local authority is to meet  again on February 19 to cement the council tax and budget proposals.

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