Saturday 16 January 2016

Will Brent Labour Group bite back over last year's Council Tax decision?

I confess I am guilty of neglecting fellow blogger and ex-councillor James Powney's writings and I missed a posting last week  LINK on the likely Council Tax rise.

In his piece James Powney draws attention to the situation last year when the Executive over-ruled the vote of the Labour Group for an increase just below the referendum trigger.  He hints that this may affect Cllr Butt's leadership position at the AGM in May :

I hear that Brent Council is likely to go for a Council Tax rise this year.  This has seemed to me to be the only sensible course for some time.  The rise will still only make a modest contribution to protecting Council services but it is better than nothing.

It also helps to protect the longer term finances of the Council.  Each year the Council Tax has been frozen, the base revenue of the Council has been reduced not just in this year but for future years.  With the government talking about abolishing central government grant altogether, a continued freeze would simply run the Council into the ground.

One might ask why Cllr Butt has been so bitterly opposed to a rise for so long.  Even to the extent of ignoring the vote of the Labour Group altogether, which was such an undemocratic measure that I am sure no previous Labour Group would have stood it.  I wonder whether it will come back to bite him in May.

Certainly, his reasons can not have been to protect vulnerable residents, since he was fully behind the Council Tax Support Scheme which inevitably hits those least able to pay.  Indeed the rise for those residents in the first year was so large it would have been impossible to raise the Council Tax by that much across the tax base as a wh


Anonymous said...

Butt will be happy to go in May, he has a job lined up with Sadiq Khan.

Philip Grant said...

Deputy Mayor for Equalities? With Cara Davani as a consultant?