Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

No Liberal Democrat-run council in England has raised Council Tax – Worthing Liberal Democrats would have gone one better

Liberal Democrat Party President Tim Farron pointed out yesterday while Labour and the Tories fight over how many of their councils raised council tax that no Liberal Democrat-run council in England has raised council tax.

In Worthing which had its best budget round for several years Liberal Democrats had they been in power, would have gone one better and reduced council tax by 2.5%. 

At February’s Worthing Borough Council meeting the Liberal Democrat amendment to reduce Council Tax by 2.5% was described as “folly” by the Cabinet Member for Resources Steven Waight. 

Mr Waight stated that Worthing would lose the Department of Communities & Local Government (DCLG) grant if a reduction was made and the proposal showed a lack of understanding by the Liberal Democrats. 

Unfortunately for Mr Waight it was a lack of understanding on his part as the DCLG website confirms Councils who reduced Council Tax received the same 2.5% grant as those which froze Council Tax.            

Liberal Democrat Party President, Tim Farron, said:

 “While Labour and the Tories fight over how many of their councils raised Council Tax, it’s clear that with the Liberal Democrats your money is safest: no Liberal Democrat-run council in England has raised Council Tax.

This stands in stark contrast to Tory and Labour-run councils which have been racking up the Council Tax in these difficult times. Ordinary working families are struggling already with paying bills, without their councils increasing the burden.

Liberal Democrat councils have not only frozen council tax but are also most likely to be giving the lowest-paid council workers a pay rise. This comes on top of Liberal Democrat achievements in the Budget, which increased the number of people, lifted out of tax to over a million and gave nearly 25m people a £130 tax cut this year. The choice in next month’s elections is clear: vote Liberal Democrat for financially responsible councils that create jobs. Vote Labour and the Tories for waste, mismanagement and tax rises.”

Worthing Lib Dem group leader, Alan Rice added:

 “We are disappointed that a lack of understanding by the Cabinet Member has left Worthing’s residents short-changed.  It is probably too late to do anything about the Council Tax rate now but it is not too late to release funds from reserves to restore Sunday and evening bus services. 

Worthing Liberal Democrats will press the Cabinet Member to do so at tonight’s (Tuesday) Council meeting.  Hopefully he will show a greater understanding.”       

Notes to editors:



(a)  To reverse the contribution to reserves by the projected 2011-12 under-spend of £254,000

(b)  To substitute clause (e) in the recommendations with:  that the Council Tax for Worthing Council ‘s requirements in 2012/13 be £210.60 for a Band D equivalent property

(c)   To include in the budget the projected theatre savings of £230,000

(d)   To allocate £85,000 of the projected theatre savings to giving each  Worthing resident in receipt of Council Tax Benefit a £10 voucher

(e)  To allocate £30,000 of the projected theatre savings to subsidise the restoration of evening and Sunday bus services in Worthing

(f)    To move to the Community Initiative Reserve the projected theatre savings balance of £115,000

  1. An overview of the top 20 Council Tax increases, as compiled by the Local Government Chronicle:
Council Name Control CT increase
Barrow BC Labour 3.50%
Babergh DC NOC 3.50%
Darlington BC Labour 3.50%
Dover DC Conservative 3.50%
East Northamptonshire Council Conservative 3.50%
Gravesham BC Labour 3.50%
Huntingdonshire DC Conservative 3.50%
Leicester City Council Labour 3.50%
Preston City Council Labour 3.50%
Redcar & Cleveland Labour 3.50%
Stockton-on-Tees Labour 3.50%
Stoke-on-Trent City Council Labour 3.50%
Gedling BC Labour 3.40%
Lichfield DC Conservative 3.40%
Luton BC Labour 3.40%
Middlesbrough Council Labour 3.40%
Nottingham City Council Labour 3.40%
Tunbridge Wells BC Conservative 3.30%
Cambridgeshire CC Conservative 3.00%
Richmondshire DC NOC 3.00%
















  1. All Liberal Democrat Councils in England have frozen their Council Tax and have still managed to:

    – According to the Local Government Chronicle, Liberal Democrat run councils were more than twice as likely to give the lowest paid workers a pay rise compared to Labour, and five times more likely than Conservative run councils.
    – Lib Dem-run Bristol City Council has created 3,000 new jobs, mostly in environmental enterprise with plans for 95,000 new jobs by 2030
    – Birmingham Liberal Democrats have aided the airport expansion, creating 2,000 new jobs
    – South Lakeland Liberal Democrat councillors have helped bring in a big boost with development from GSK
    – In Stockport, Liberal Democrats have overseen an 11% increase in the number of new Business Start-ups – the highest of anywhere in the North West

  2. Please find a few examples of Labour Councils record of wasteful spending:

    – In September Labour-run Southwark unveiled plans to spend £120,000 creating an executive wine terrace at its Tooley Street headquarters.

    Labour in Durham spent more than £5000 on a bus stop that hadn’t been used in 2 years – ‘The bus stop to nowhere’

    – Labour councillors in Haringey propose to spend over £1m on a fund that has no agreed plan or purpose and has the name of the party’s election manifesto, ‘One Borough, One Future fund’ to promote political aims and pay for Labour pet projects.  

  1. Please find a few examples of Conservative Councils record of wasteful spending:

    – Tory Cambridgeshire County Council put up councillor allowances by 19% whilst cutting services and increasing council tax.

    – Tory Hammersmith and Fulham Council threw a £7,000 party for their departing £200,000 a year Chief Executive whilst cutting services.

    – At Bognor Town Council the Conservative authority says it needs a 3.5% Council Tax increase, whileinsisting the council continues to financially support the annual clown convention.

    – Seaford Town Council agreed to raise its Council Tax by 9.5%. Cllr Sam Adeniji said the £10,000 from the tax rise would go towards a celebration for the Queen’s jubilee.