|Labour in Crawley mirror the national party - they never learn!|
The Conservative opposition at Crawley Borough Council have warned of a “Council Tax Bombshell” being stored up for the future after the controlling Labour group voted down a Conservative amendment to continue to balance the Council’s Budget in each of the next three years at last week’s Full Council meeting.The Council’s Budget Strategy sets out the Council’s financial policy direction for future budgets. The previous Conservative Administration had a policy of living within the Council’s means while not raising Council Tax which meant that expenditure did not exceed income, known as a balanced budget. This was the existing position for this year’s Council Budget.
At the Full Council meeting, the new Labour Administration ditched this policy, hoping that they might be able to deliver a balance budget in three years’ time. In response, the Conservatives tabled an amendment calling for the Council’s Budget to continue to be balanced in each of the next three years.Conservative Leader Cllr Duncan Crow (Furnace Green) said “Some of what is in the budget strategy are Conservative policies and I am pleased Labour are implementing our policies and accepting the Conservative-led Government’s grant for a fifth successive Council Tax freeze next year. However, by having no aspiration to balance the budget and with only a vague reference to balance it in three years’ time, we are concerned that the current sound financial position of the Council is at risk and that Labour risk storing up a Council Tax Bombshell that Crawley residents will have to pay for in the future.”
The concerns of Conservative Councillors were echoed by Crawley MP Henry Smith who said “If Crawley residents want an idea of what a future Labour Government would be like with the public finances, they do not have to look very far. Almost immediately, a new Labour controlled Crawley Borough Council has decided to stop living within its means and is risking the creation of a financial mess for Crawley Council Tax payers in the future.”