This article, on the front page of the press finishes with a statement from Lynne Hillan :- "This has no effect on council tax because it's nothing to do with the revenue budget" - When the Tories took power in Barnet, they put Council tax up by 24%. The reason? Because they said there was a £10 hole in the reserves. Was a £10 million "hole in the reserves" anything to do with the revenue budget? Last time there was a supposed £10 Million hole in the reserves, the Tories put up council tax by 24%. They won't this year because it's an election year and Hillan would rather slash and burn than tell us the truth and plug the hole. Victor Lyon was the Tory leader who enacted the 24% rise, he claimed at the time that it would be a one off. He claimed that the Tories would transform the Tories into a "low tax council". In 2008 the Hendon Times reported that 5 years of Tory rule had resulted in 44% rises.
However much Council Leader Lynne Hillan bleats, the truth is that in 2003 when the Tories took power the London Borough of Barnet had a lower Council tax than the London Borough of Brent.
Brent Council - Council Tax - Band D 2003/4 - £1075.05
Barnet Council - Council Tax - Band D 2003/4 - £796.89
Brent Council - Council Tax - Band D 2003/4 - £1368.76
Barnet Council - Council Tax - Band D 2003/4 - £1423.02
You may also be interested to know that Barnet Council Tax is now above the national average (£1414). Brent is lower. So you may ask. What is the difference between the administration in Brent and the administration in Barnet. Well as a Lib Dem, I'd like to point out that a Lib Dem Council has kept tax down in Brent. If Barnet had the same Council tax increase as Brent over the period (27%), we'd all be paying £1012.05 per annum - over £400 less.
Can I tell you why Brent has done so much better than Barnet? Because the Councillors running Brent Council do their job properly. Brent Council used to be so badly run that it was nicknamed "Bent Council" by Private Eye. Sadly now it's Barnet which has become a "Barmy Council". Who pays for this extravagance? You and me, my friend.
They ask questions when Council officers demand more money. They understand the fact that if you lose £9 million, it has to be paid for out of your tax. I daresay that a Barnet Conservatives will come up with all manner of excuses when asked about this, but at the end of the day you are paying over £400 a year more than you should. That is the bottom line. That is a difficult fact that the Tories running Barnet do not want you to know.
(Hat Tip to Not the Barnet Times for the picture of the Press)