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Councillors unite to protect finance officers from Government criticism

Conservative and Labour councillors on Lichfield District Council have backed a defence of local authority finance officers from attacks by Government ministers.

Cllr Steve Norman

Cllr Steve Norman

Cllr Steve Norman tabled a motion at a meeting to set tax levels at the council.

The move came after Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, urged council finance officers not to get involved in politics.

The Labour opposition group leader’s motion read:

This Council rejects the attack by Government ministers on council finance officers in councils such as Lichfield District which do not accept the council tax freeze offer and increase council tax and that thiscouncil believes that whilst criticising elected members is legitimate, attacking officers who are paid to advise the council is not.

The motion was immediately supported by the Conservative leader, Cllr Mike Wilcox and then supported by the whole council.

Cllr Norman said: “Lichfield District was the only Conservative authority to increase council tax in the West Midlands last year (by 3.4 per cent). While they planned a 3.4 per cent increase again this year they avoided the Pickles protest by agreeing a 1.8 per cent increase.

“Councillors decide. Officers only advise.”

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3 Comments

  1. Darryl

    27th February, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Semantics.

    The end result is you’re increasing it whilst wages, in real terms, are going down.

    The bigger question should be what are you going to do to protect the vulnerable, not what are you doing to protect your friends?

  2. Sandra

    27th February, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    I hope the finance officers ensure the public are aware that council tax can be paid over twelve months now rather than ten. Lichfield Council are hardly shouting this from the rooftops

  3. Cllr Steve Norman

    1st March, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    The Labour Group in fact proposed that either the District Council freezes the tax by using some of the £1.3 million being provided for the Garrick over the next two years OR we would support the increase if the extra money was used to reduce the impact on those vulnerable families who will be facing a possible £200 increase in their council tax. Our proposal was not supported by a single Conservative member. Can you imagine what Fabulosa would be saying now if it was Labour increasing the Council Tax?