CAMDEN'S BUDGET: Theo Blackwell has a cheek

Labour s Theo Blackwell has some cheek to lecture us Conservatives and our coalition partners on council tax ( More could be done to help, says opposition , H&H Feb 26). Under the last 12 years of Labour rule in Camden (1994 to 2006), Labour raised Band D

Labour's Theo Blackwell has some cheek to lecture us Conservatives and our coalition partners on council tax ("More could be done to help, says opposition", H&H Feb 26).

Under the last 12 years of Labour rule in Camden (1994 to 2006), Labour raised Band D council tax by a staggering 104.47 per cent (ie more than doubled it).

By contrast, the Conservatives and our coalition partners now running Camden have kept it virtually frozen for the whole four years of our administration.

I have calculated that had Labour carried on increasing Camden council tax at the same rate as they did over 1994 to 2006, every Camden family would pay �576 more over the lifetime of this council.


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This makes it clear that Mr Blackwell's proposed �50 rebate is a stunt. It is small compared to the real money we saved Camden's residents.

Even worse, it is a one-off, non-recurring item, funded by raiding reserves which are earmarked for repairing council housing and capital works in the borough. The only other politician to enact a rebate recently is ex-president George W Bush - a strange ideological soulmate for the Camden Labour party!

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Our council tax freeze is sustainable and ongoing. We inherited very high levels of council tax from Labour and we have worked hard to contain it.

At this tough time for the economy, it is vital that we alleviate the burden of council tax, which bears down most heavily on those least able to pay.

It is the duty of the council to do what we can to help. This means putting money back in the pockets of residents.

This Monday, I was proud to vote for a budget which genuinely helped Camden's poorest residents - this year, next year and ongoing. Frankly, at this tough time, we will all appreciate an extra �576 in our pocket.

Cllr Chris Philp

Conservative Parliamentary Candidate, Hampstead & Kilburn

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