Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally

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Tory-run Suffolk County Council freezes council tax – for next four years!


Frugal: Conservative-run Suffolk County Council

Thanks to Cllr Alasdair Ross I learnt Suffolk County Council proposed in their budget-setting meeting yesterday that their part* of our council tax bill due in April will be frozen. Tory council leader Cllr Mark Bee went even further and announced it would be frozen for the next four years!

Now that’s the difference between what you get from a Labour-run council like Ipswich Borough Council and a Conservative-run authority like Suffolk County Council. Tories instinctively know civil servants are profligate with your money and there are ALWAYS savings which can be found whereas Labour see a problem and their immediate reaction is to chuck money at it. The Labour Party did this on a national scale with the NHS when they were in power at Westminster but it did nothing to stop thousands of people being killed – some through starvation and botched operations – at the hands of “our wonderful” nurses and doctors.

This is why the Conservatives at Suffolk County Council can project council tax will be frozen for the next four years. They could project it to be frozen for the next ten years if they weren’t constrained by electoral cycles. You see, there is always money to be saved in the public sector who spend money like it is going out of fashion with, in many cases, very little to show for it.

On a sidebar, yet again I find my local news from the blogosphere. I may disagree with Cllr Ross but I always find his posts informative, entertaining and written to a high standard. This is also very much the case with Ipswich Spy, who this week scooped the Morning Ipswich Star to announce Labour had increased council tax at Ipswich Borough Council by 1.98%. It is only a matter of time before the Ipswich Star has to become a freesheet or goes out of business all together. Considering the free Metro newspaper has triple if not quadruple the number of stories than the Ipswich Star, all of a high quality, why would anyone fork out 60p for a paper with more adverts than stories, which the Ipswich Star has become.

*Many people don’t know that council tax is made up of three parts in Ipswich: 1) the district council’s precept (i.e. Ipswich Borough Council); 2) the County Council’s precept (i.e. Suffolk County Council); 3) The Police (i.e. Suffolk Police and Crime Commission). Ipswich Borough Council send out the bills but they make up less than one third of the total cost to you as the council taxpayer. I have never understand why Ipswich Borough Council are forced to have their name splashed all over the hated bill when that authority takes less than 20% of the money from us hard-working people.