The decision to increase council tax for people in Lichfield and Burntwood has been branded “unfathomable”.

Lichfield District Council voted to put up its share of the bill for households by 2.78% this week.

But Cllr Dave Robertson told a meeting of the local authority that the timing of the rise could not have been worse for residents facing an already uncertain future.

“My major concern around council tax is that when and where this increase is going to land – just as the job retention scheme ends.

“I’m sure there are members of the council who are already aware of businesses who are laying people off as they have no certainty about what will happen.

“The fact that we are then going to drop a council tax increase is completely unfathomable.”

Cllr Dave Robertson, Lichfield District Council

Cllr Robertson said the increase would see £322,000 taken out of the local economy at a time when money needed to be spent helping companies get back on their feet after the latest lockdown.

And he added those families already struggling would be hit hardest.

“Just as businesses are reopening, just as we’re getting to the point where restrictions can be relaxed, we’re going to suck £322,000 out of our economy.

“On top of that, the social cost cannot be ignored at a time when Lichfield Foodbank is saying that in 2020 they saw a year on year 110% increase in amount of people they fed. That’s in addition to two voluntary groups setting up that provide emergency food.

“It is very clear there is a lot of financial hardship in our district. To be compounding that at a time when the job market will be as difficult as it’s ever been doesn’t make sense.

“I cannot fathom how we are in a position where we want to put families and people under hardship at the same time as taking disposable income away from pockets that would be spent with local businesses.”

Cllr Dave Robertson, Lichfield District Council

Cllr Rob Strachan, cabinet member responsible for finance, denied that he was taking money that could be spent with local businesses.

Cllr Rob Strachan

“Cllr Robertson spoke very emotively about sucking £322,000 out of the local economy.

“I see it more as taking 9p a week to make sure your bins get collected, your planning permission gets granted and your leisure centre stays open – and doing that in a really, really challenging environment while creating another tranche of support to try and keep the show on the road for residents, for businesses and fort this authority.

“That’s redistribution of funds. That’s a very socialist idea and to hear Cllr Robertson challenging me on that is really, really surprising.”

Cllr Rob Strachan, Lichfield District Council

7 replies on “Decision to increase council tax in Lichfield and Burntwood branded “unfathomable” by councillor”

  1. Thankfully not long now to elections when all voters can make their opinion & vote count. Expect some overdue changes!

  2. I watched that meeting online.
    I was disgusted how they brushed aside the financial difficulties of many in Lichfield. Paid a little lip service to it.
    Gave themselves congratulations on keeping the bin service going.
    These people don’t represent many people in Lichfield.
    Shame on them.

  3. I’m about to move into Lichfield – given the number of houses (significant number in higher bands) in the area which continues to grow – the council is raking in the cash. I can’t believe the poor state of the roads and archaic traffic light/management system around the town. Where does the money go.

  4. “I see it more as taking 9p a week to make sure your bins get collected, your planning permission gets granted and your leisure centre stays open”

    Rob Strachan seems like a fun guy, lets talk. The current council tax pays for the bins, of which you now pay extra to have your brown bin emptied, planning permission affects a tiny portion of the community and is a chargeable service, finally I’m not sure we should get into leisure centres, because that has been a farce in Lichfield for months if not years.

    So Rob, care to try again at justifying such a rise?

  5. The leisure centre stays open! Really ! The leisure centre this council wanted to close before the public backlash – evil lying whatever’s! Wake up Lichfield and VOTE Them out IN MAY !

  6. Many of the new lichfield cc built homes are on the border with Tamworth and use Tamworth facilities so its a winner for Lichfield cc. Now they want to build another 800 houses at Mile Oak again on Tamworths border(on green fields) where are all the wild life going to live?

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