Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Lib Dems Propose 3.5 Per Cent Council Tax Rise To Protect Fire Cover

Cllr Nigel Bell
(LD, Ely North and East)

Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats are pushing for a council tax rise of 3.5 per cent by the fire service in their fight to protect emergency fire cover.

They are tabling an amendment tomorrow (Thursday, February 16) to Tory proposals which would see council tax increase by 2.5 per cent but inevitably lead to cuts to front-line emergency services.

These cuts could result in the loss of  nine fire appliances and lead to five station closures, compulsory fire-fighter redundancies, increased emergency response times and some fire stations, currently manned all the time being open only during the day.

“Our proposed rise is still below the rate of inflation but will protect the service for the future,” said Nigel Bell, Lib Dem Leader on Cambridgeshire Fire Authority.

“We are concerned that raising council tax by far less than inflation will lead to unacceptable future cuts in frontline emergency services. We have a moral duty to protect the lives of people in the county."

"We are facing a stark choice tomorrow of maintaining front-line services or keeping council tax well below inflation. We believe that the extra rise of 58p a year, or 1p a week extra for band D properties is something people will accept to protect the front-line."

The Lib Dems will table their amendment at a meeting of Cambridgeshire Fire