1,000 strong petition handed over by MP Steve Barclay protesting over village tax rise

MP STEVE Barclay presented a 1,000 strong petition to a Government minister today protesting over council tax rises in a Fenland village.

Mr Barclay, the MP for NE Cambs, said the petition was collected in the village of Sutton – near Chatteris and Mepal- following a “huge increase” in the parish council precept of 28 per cent.

He presented the petition to the Secretary of State for Local Government, the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP.

Mr Barclay said the 969-signatures were collected in just ten days and he discussed with the minister “my concerns at the lack of transparency regarding the tax rise.”

He said “I had a very good meeting with the Secretary of State who shares my concern at the sudden increase in local tax. He requested a background briefing from the MP on what had caused the increase and said that he would be discussing the matter with his officials.”

Mr Barclay added “given the strength of local feeling on this matter, it is important that the voice of residents in Sutton is heard at the very top of Government. I am very pleased to have secured this time with a senior Cabinet minister so that he is fully aware of what is happening on the ground.”

The MP said the meeting “rounded off a busy day after I went to another ministerial meeting with the Schools Minister, Nick Gibb MP, to discuss specifically secondary school education provision within Wisbech.”

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Mr Barclay said he was in the House of Commons until 4am from the previous evening, voting on the Finance Bill.

As the Finance Bill cannot be subject to a time restraint, debate continued through the night with Mr Barclay only leaving the House of Commons to return home in time for breakfast.

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