A Labour councillor has questioned the decision to protect funding for the Sheriff’s Ride at the same time as plans to increase council tax bills in Lichfield were approved.
Members of Lichfield City Council voted to agree to put up the amount it takes from residents via the precept by 2% at a meeting last night (24th January).
The Conservative-controlled council also confirmed that the budget for the annual Sheriff’s Ride was also be maintained.
It means that £12,680 will be allocated to the civic event.
Labour’s Cllr Dave Robertson said taxpayers would struggle to see the justification for the level of funding at a time when they were being asked to pay more.
“True to form, the Conservatives on the city council did outvote the opposition to increase the council tax precept by 2%.
“Their precious Sheriff’s Ride kept all of its budget though, so I’m sure they’ll sleep sound.
“The expensive version involves us paying almost £12,680 for the Sheriff and a bunch of others to form a mini cavalry detachment and doing a lap of the city – the 2021 version did all of the pomp and ceremonial bits without the horses and only cost £33.”Cllr Dave Robertson
The Sheriff’s Ride – which dates back hundreds of years – takes place each September and sees riders head out on a 20 mile ride around the boundary of the city, ending with the group met by the Sword and Mace Bearers in Lichfield.
A description on the city council website says it is “an extremely prestigious event”.
The increase in council tax on Lichfield City Council’s share of the bill equates to around £1.35 a year for an average Band D property.
Cllr Robertson said:
“I am disappointed that the Conservatives didn’t accept reasonable proposals which protected services and kept council tax down.”Cllr Dave Robertson