Tories call for council tax freeze

Tory leader Coun Geoff Driver
Tory leader Coun Geoff Driver
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Angry Tories were set to demand a freeze on council tax when Lancashire County Council met on Thursday to set its budget for 2015/16.

The authority’s opposition party released a statement ahead of the full council meeting accusing the ruling Labour group of “playing politics with people’s lives” by making “savage” cuts to essential services.

The council was expected to vote for an increase in council tax of 1.99 per cent, despite news recently that County Hall had landed a surprise £52m cash windfall from playing the money markets last year.

“Most people in Lancashire will reasonably struggle to understand why such punitive cuts are being made to the services provided to some of the most vulnerable of their fellow citizens whilst at the same time they are facing an increase in their council tax bills,” said Tory leader Coun Geoff Driver.

“The simple truth is that Labour are playing politics with people’s lives because these cuts are wholly unnecessary . . . and can so easily be avoided.”

The Conservatives, who were due to call on Liberal Democrats to help them overturn the Labour majority on the budget vote, claim the cutbacks will hit services like the provision of carers for adults and children with disabilities, the safeguarding of children and the education of youngsters taken into the care of the county council.