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Farron welcomes proposed council tax freeze

February 25, 2014 11:03 AM

TF KendalSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has today congratulated Lib Dem run South Lakeland District Council for proposing to freeze council tax for a record fourth year in a row.

This freeze compares positively to many other councils in the county who plan to raise tax. Labour run Copeland are proposing increasing council tax by 1.95 per cent and Conservative-led Eden are proposing a 1.99% increase in tax. They both increased tax in 2013 and plan to do same in 2014.

Barrow Borough increased tax by 1.9% in their 2013-14 budget, and decide this year's budget in March.

Eden and Copeland's increase are just below the 2% required to trigger a referendum on the issue. Previously Conservative Minister Eric Pickles called councils like these 'Democracy dodgers'.

As well as freezing council tax locally, the Liberal Democrats have now frozen tax at Cumbria County Council too.

Cumbria's Conservative Police Commissioner also plans to raise tax by 1.93%, despite opposition from the elected Police and Crime Panel which oversees his work.

Tim said: "I welcome the news that the Lib Dems on South Lakeland District Council have frozen council tax for the fourth year in a row. With living costs rising and incomes under pressure, it is right that the council protects residents from an unwelcome council tax rise.

"As well as cutting bills through an energy cooperative scheme and protecting the council tax benefit scheme, freezing the tax is part of our determination to protect the most vulnerable whilst being prudent and competent in managing the councils finances."

Peter Thornton, Leader of South Lakeland District Council added: "I'm proud that we've frozen Council Tax in four successive years and pleased to say that we are planning to do the same next year as well. This will be the first time that any District or County Council has frozen Council tax for the whole of a five year Parliament. It's a recognition that we are in a period of financial challenge and that it's our responsibility to leave as much money as possible in the local economy and in our residents pockets"