Council Tax Referendum Trigger kept at 2%
For those that missed it the government finally came to decision on the council tax referendum trigger this week. Whilst the delay has not been helpful this was due to an argument within the cabinet over whether or not to reduce. Fortunately, with Nick batting for local government and Theresa May for her police commissioners, Pickles was unable to get agreement to force councils to hold a referendum for a 1.5% increase in council tax.
All Lib Dem councils hold down council tax when they can but there are some councils who really do have no other option. Keeping the referendum level at 2% gives those councils that need it some breathing space to continue vital services without having to call a costly referendum framed in such a way that winning would be very unlikely. We believe that councils should be subject to a referendum on the whole package – taxes and services – through the ballot box. Of course not all councils take decisions raise taxes so seriously, in those cases it is our job as opposition groups to hold them to account.
Department for Transport parking consultation
Reminder – Parking consultation
The Department for Transport has launched a consultation on parking enforcement https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/local-authority-parking . The LGA has already put out a comment saying such matters should be up to local authorities to decide, rather than Whitehall and is putting together a formal response. Bedford has been particularly incensed by the proposals to get rid of CCTV cameras outside schools, which have helped to improve safety there.