Tuesday, 4 March 2014

COUNCIL TAX CONSULTATION CAN GIVE RESIDENTS CHOICE

Lib Dems are urging the Conservatives at Wokingham Borough Council to listen and consult with residents when setting the Council’s annual budgets.

Cllr Tom McCann (Loddon ward) said “We want to see consultation built into the budget setting process and for years we have been pressing the Conservatives to do this. So many other councils do this why can’t they? The Conservatives fail to see that there are different and better ways to do things. They are not open to other ideas and their arrogant and dismissive attitude leaves residents worse off. The stalled Town Centre regeneration is a prime example of what happens when they fail to listen and genuinely consult.

In February, the Lib Dems proposed a council tax freeze for hard pressed local residents but the Conservatives voted against this and a reduction in cost of the garden waste scheme .Cllr Prue Bray leader of the Liberal Democrat group added “Every year the Conservatives complain about being the worst funded borough and yet as well as government funding they get additional grants and S106 funding amounting to millions of pounds every year. They claim money is really tight but keep putting money into the budget that then does not get spent but does form part of the council tax. Over the past 5 years residents have had to pay more than £8 million that wasn’t used. The Lib Dems want residents to have more say in how and where the council uses its funding. Windsor and Maidenhead also gets a low level of government grant funding and yet they have cut council tax bills for the last five years.

The Conservatives are so stuck in their way of doing things that they refuse to listen to other choices and by doing so they are failing residents. The Lib Dems will continue to press for genuine open consultation to get a better deal for all the borough’s residents.”