After a farcical series of delays, David Hodge and Tory led Surrey County Council performed a last-minute U-turn and proposed a 5% rise in Council Tax for 2017 rather than the much-publicised 15%.
There are several possible reasons for this;
- Was it a ruse to soften the blow of a 5% rise that was planned all along?
- With roughly a third of Tory County Councillors either deselected or standing down was there a real risk of them voting against the proposal and the vote failing to get through?
- Did they underestimate the backlash from the people of Surrey and feared an election catastrophe in May?
- Have they simply delayed it for a year until after the County Council elections?
Whichever of these is true our County Council leaders are, at best, incompetent and at worst, scheming and underhand.
Personally I think they believed they’d get the vote through and not lose too many seats in the elections – a Conservative Borough Councillor that I spoke to described the plan as “unfettered arrogance” – but having seen the scale of resentment and opposition they have decided the safe option is to delay the rise by a year and wait until after the May elections.
This presents voters with a clear choice, a vote for the Conservatives is a vote for massive Council Tax rises to come – don’t say we didn’t warn you.
You can read the full UKIP Surrey Press Release here.