It was not at the eleventh hour

PUBLISHED: 11:02 13 March 2006 | UPDATED: 08:59 24 May 2010

May I reply to your readers who responded to my recent letter regarding the increase in council tax. As those who might have listened to the budget debate at council last week will have seen, the Conservative

May I reply to your readers who responded to my recent letter regarding the increase in council tax. As those who might have listened to the budget debate at council last week will have seen, the Conservative group put together a comprehensive budget which, at 3.1 per cent, was not at the eleventh hour as suggested but well in time for discussion at the various scrutiny panels that met in the weeks preceding the decision. It did not include closing libraries and other facilities, as thought by Cllr Bell, but did include the increases in road maintenance and other areas that he later claimed as his own. It also included cutting some non frontline staff which again was off the Lib Dem radar.Late information did allow the Conservative Group to recommend a further cut, to 2.9 per cent before the council meeting and it is worth saying that, had the Conservatives been in power, they were quite prepared to run the council with the budget put forward. It therefore beggars belief that the Lib Dem and Labour members dutifully raised their hands to vote for an increase to 4.9 per cent.I would be happy to supply any reader with the detail of the Conservative proposals if they would like to write to me c/o the Town Hall. As to what the public can do about this result, well just remember who voted for and against the 4.9 per cent when it comes to the local elections next year.You can be sure I will be reminding you!Elfan Ap Rees - (Cllr Locking, Bleadon and Hutton)

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