Pendle's Council Tax increase debated in House of Lords

The House of Lords
The House of Lords
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The thorny issue of Pendle Council's 6% Council Tax increase was raised by a Pendle peer in the House of Lords this week.

Liberal Democrat Lord Tony Greaves, who represents Colne's Waterside ward on Pendle Council, asked if this compared with an average 4½% rise across England.

He said: "Local authorities are being hollowed out, their services are being slashed and in many areas they are teetering on the edge of an existential crisis. Will the Conservative Party go to the elections this year and tell people 'Vote Conservative - get less, pay more'?"

The Government Minister, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, said: "The calculation is almost certainly going to be that the level is 4.8% and decisions on Council Tax levels are for local authorities."

Speaking after the debate, Lord Greaves said: "The truth is that here in Pendle the rises are all those set by the Government - 14% for the police, 4% for the Lancashire County Council, 3% for Pendle.

"Only the town and parish councils are free to set their own levels - and in Colne the town council has increased their share of the Council Tax by 26%. This is why Colne is higher than the rest of Pendle.

"But in spite of these huge rises - now over £2,000 a year for Band D households, and £1,266 even for Band A - local services are being cut yet again.

"The responsibility lies fairly and squarely with the Government which year after year is cutting back the funding it provides directly to councils such as Pendle and Lancashire."