Cheshire West and Chester Conservatives are calling on the Labour-run council to think of the public before generous pay and pension packages as residents face a further council tax rise.

The council will meet on Thursday night (1 March) to agree its budget with a further 5% council tax rise planned for local residents, the highest rate rise since the Council was created in 2009.

Having scrutinised the budget in detail, the Conservative team is calling on Cllr David Armstrong, Cabinet member for finance to hold the council tax at current rates and to think about what this means for hard working families and local residents on low and fixed incomes.

Conservative Cllr Neil Sullivan, shadow finance spokesman said: “We want the council to think hard and look at itself before turning to the taxpayers.”

“It seems unfair to us that taxes are to rise for the many when this is going to pay for generous pension packages, new computer systems, parking machines and many other things that people didn’t vote for.

“We might not have been in this position at all if projects like Barons Quay in Northwich and the move out of the Chester headquarters had been delivered to plan; examples like this of new income streams and opportunities to save money could have been recycled to keep council tax at current levels.”

Cllr Helen Weltman agreed, adding: “This will be the third tax hike in as many years.

“People expect very little these days and get even less. Most people that come to me with complaints just want to see the streets clean and the potholes filled”

“Labour is defending its plans based on neighbouring councils doing the same” added Cllr Lynn Riley, Conservative Group Leader.

“But it’s only 3 years ago that Cheshire West was the most achieving council in England, so we have never been part of the 95 per cent.

“Cheshire West used to be a council that found innovative ways to deliver public services without raising council taxes and still managed to build a theatre, new schools, museums, libraries and leisure centres as well as fix the roads, pavements and bridges. I would urge Labour colleagues to step up and be the 5 per cent and not tax at 5 per cent.”

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