Gang of seven vote to freeze Fenland council tax but raise it at county level

FENLAND’S ‘gang of seven’ –members of both district and county council- look set to vote FOR a hike in Cambridgeshire’s Council Taxi but vote to FREEZE it at district level.

Councillor Alan Melton, leader of Fenland District Council, says the 34 strong Tory group had voted overwhelmingly to freeze Council Tax for the second year in succession.

“We are pleased that we can honour our 2011 election commitment of freezing council tax for a further year,” he said.

It means the Government will shell out �188,000 to Fenland Council to recompense them for not imposing a 2.5 per cent rise on Council Tax.

Ironically seven of the 11 county councillors for Fenland also sit on the district council and will almost certainly back the county leadership who are refusing Government assistance and will instead levy a 2.9 per cent county increase.

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“I shall my support my leadership at county council,” said Cllr Melton. “I have no leadership role at county level and will take guidance. The county council has specific problems particularly around adult social care.”

He also said education was a major issue and more money was needed for highways and especially for footpath repairs.

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“The Cambridgeshire tax base is different and I shall be supporting whatever recommendation county council leader nick Clarke puts forward,” said Cllr Melton.

“During the coming year will shall have to meet further challenges, but I have every confidence that our members and officers will continue to manage the finances of Fenland with diligence and care.”

He added: “I cannot rule out tax increases in future years but we shall be working to maintain affordable council tax levels”.

Councillor Martin Curtis, who represents Whittlesey on both authorities, said: “Fenland and Cambridgeshire County Council are very different councils so of course there will be different decisions some times and good reasons.”

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