Liberal Democrats on Torbay Council are set to challenge the Conservative-controlled council over plans to charge those least able to pay council tax hundreds of pounds more each year. Currently, those who are in receipt of benefits and are of working age pay 10% of their council tax. The Conservative-controlled council plans to increase this to a 45% charge, as well as making a number of other penny-pinching changes to the council tax support scheme from May 2017. This will result in council tax bills for those on benefits and of working age increasing by hundreds of pounds a year.
Liberal Democrat Tormohun councillor Mandy Darling, who represents one of the poorest wards in Torbay, is set to challenge the Council at its meeting on 22 September, she said: “In the last few days Torbay has been named and shamed by the Joseph Roundtree Foundation as one of the poorest communities in England. It is beyond belief that our Conservative-run council, rather than helping those most in need in our community, plans to punish such people by forcing them to become poorer still.”
The Tormohun ward councillor went on to say: “ I am awaiting with great interest the responses to my three questions. In the meantime, residents can respond to the Council's consultation by visiting http://www.torbay.gov.uk/council/consultations/council-tax-support-consultation/”
The three questions are as follows:
Q1. When taking office at No 10 Downing Street Teresa May said her premiership ”would make Britain work for everyone.” And represent the interests of the many and not the privileged few. In light of the Consultation to change the Council tax support scheme in Torbay which will result in some of the poorest households in Torbay being forced to pay hundreds of additional pounds in Council tax a year. Would you agree with me that one should always judge political parties by their deeds rather than words?
Q2. I note that Cllr King is referred to as the Councillor responsible for responses to the consultation on changes to the Council Tax Support scheme. As Councillor Morris holds this area of responsibility in his portfolio why is he not the lead Councillor for this consultation.
Q3. Torbay Council started consultation on the 9 August on controversial changes to the Council Tax Support Scheme. Councillors will only be briefed on this matter on 28 September. Surely elected members should be briefed on such possible policy changes at the beginning of the consultation rather than more than half way through it?
Contact – Cllr Mandy Darling 07919566606