Liberal Democrats forget they are responsible for residents having Highest Council Tax in Kent

So on the 24th Feb 2021, Folkestone & Hythe District Council voted to raise the district part of Council Tax by 1.99%. This means band per band our Council has the highest levels of Council Tax of any Council in Kent.

This has now been the case for the last 18 years.

Now Cllr Tim Prater made it clear he was voting for the budget. However in 2019 he and his local Liberal Democrat colleagues campaigned for change, when they stated:

  • But if you DON’T want to give them a vote of confidence [the local Conservatives], you can send a DIFFERENT message. A message that things MUST change [ie vote Lib Dem].

The people of Sangate swallowed the rhetoric hook line and sinker and voted Cllr Prater and Cllr Fuller into office for Sandgate and West Folkestone Ward. Two years on, both voted to keep your Council Tax at the highest levels in Kent. So the rhetoric and the reality means nothing has changed for the people of his ward, or the district. Let’s not forget the genesis for having the highest council tax in Kent begun when Lib Dems were last in power.

Again in his speech on the budget and council tax, Cllr Prater stated council officers cannot be furloughed. Just a cursory check on the internet would have told him that statement was untrue.

All too often Cllr Prater has ended up costing us all more money.

Let’s take the Northgate issue which ended up costing rate payers £26,000 more.

When he was elected to KCC (2009 – 2013), Tim was the Finance Spokesman for the Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council. He sat on the Governance and Audit, Personnel, and Boundary and Election Committees, as well as the Treasury Advisory Group and Trading Activities Sub-Committee. He voted to put money into costly PFIs and LOBO Loans. Both ended up costing ratepayers loads of money.

He also mentions the district council have used reserves to balance the budget and makes it clear he does not approve. Yet at Folkestone Town Council, where Tim is also a Cllr, using reserves was not a problem.  This point was not missed by Cllr Jackie Meade (Lab) who reminded Cllr Prater of his willingness to use reserves to balance the budget.

Moving on Councillor Susan Carey points out why our district has the Highest Council Tax in Kent. That’s because the Lib Dems way back in 2004 signed us up to a PFI contract which took three years to unravel but did not allow the council or council tax payer to escape our financial responsibilities to that contract.

Then insteps Cllr Fuller (Lib Dem) who makes it clear he doesn’t know any of former district Lib Dems who were responsible for our district having the highest council tax in Kent, starting in 2003/04 and 2004/05.

So to refresh Cllr Fuller’s memory which Lib Dems were the catalyst for residents of our district having the highest council tax in Kent, we’ll remind him and Cllr Prater.

All the 29 people below were elected as Lib Dems in 2003 and remained in office until May 2007. We had 47 Cllrs in our chamber then. They and their predecessors are responsible for residents of the district having the highest Council Tax in Kent.

  • Dymchurch & St Mary’s Ward

  • Terry Preston

  • Ms J White

  • Ms S Maile

  • Elham & Stelling Minnis Ward

  • Ms C Crees

  • Folkestone Cheriton Ward

  • Peter Gane

  • Ms L Cufley

  • T Buss – Lib Dem

  • Folkestone East Ward

  • Ms J Andrews

  • Ms G Jenkins

  • Folkestone Harbour Ward

  • Ms T Caruana

  • Ms K Culshaw

  • Folkestone Foord Ward

  • B Copping

  • P Marsh

  • Folkestone Harvey Central Ward

  • R Green

  • Folkestone Morehall Ward

  • G. George

  • A. Baker

  • Folkestone Park Ward

  • J Hughes

  • D Dickinson

  • Ms L Beaumont

  • Hythe Central Ward

  • Ms W Harris

  • L Matthews

  • J Nolan

  • Hythe East Ward

  • D Bushell

  • Ms D Maskell

  • Hythe West Ward

  • S Hayward

  • A Farmer

  • North Downs East Ward

  • P Smith

  • Ms C Smith

  • D Callahan

So yes we’ve got the highest Council Tax in Kent and the people responsible for that are the Liberal Democrats, who don’t like being fact-checked.

Let’s not forget Cllr Fuller mentions 2010 in his counter speech to Cllr Carey. 2010 was the year the Lib Dems stepped into a coalition with the Tories and began the austerity programme and years of sweeping public spending cuts. This further exacerbated inequality in our district, and elsewhere across the country.

“Those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it.” Hence why one should really think twice about voting Lib Dem at Parish, Town, District, County as they appear to suffer from long term memory loss, when it suits them.

The Shepway Vox Team

Dissent is NOT a Crime

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1 Comment on Liberal Democrats forget they are responsible for residents having Highest Council Tax in Kent

  1. A council employee // March 4, 2021 at 08:38 // Reply

    Tim knew about Stainer making claims for Covid-19 grants in April 2020.

    He also knew that Stainer owed FHDC £51,000 for business rates.

    Yet he and others allowed Stainer to be paid Covid grants and took no action over business rates until the company went into administration.

    Tim’s no different from the rest of them.

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