Labour Break Council Tax Refund Promise
Despite the cost of living crisis, Barnet Labour are increasing parking charges across the borough and reneging on their promise to refund 1% charge. The Conservatives are calling for a Council Tax freeze to support residents.
Conservative Councillors have criticised Labour-run Barnet Council for breaking its pledge to refund the social care precept.
Despite describing this pledge as the “first action” a Labour administration in Barnet would take in their manifesto, this has now been scrapped.
Cllr Dan Thomas, Leader of Barnet’s Conservative Group has said ““Labour have reneged on their promise to refund 1% council tax. Labour also said they would not charge the maximum council tax which is allowed but have used that figure as the starting point for their so-called discount. This is a sleight of hand and not the full and proper refund our residents are expecting. Labour’s number one pledge to residents has been broken”.
At the same time, the Labour administration is ramping up spending on politicking at the Council, spending over £150,000 a year on a 'Director of Transformation' to support their political agenda, and a 'Strategic Political Advisor'. How are they paying for this? By cutting services that improve our borough and increasing parking fees. Labour have proposed increasing parking charges up by over 10%, and want to raise Controlled Parking income by over £1million. On this, Cllr Thomas commented that “Barnet Labour have increased parking charges and want to massively increase Controlled Parking Permit income. We are calling for all planned increases in parking charges to be scrapped.”
During this cost of living crisis, the people of Barnet should have an administration committed to protecting their money, not increasing charges. That's why Barnet Conservatives are calling on Labour to freeze Council Tax next year - to support households across our borough.
Cllr Thomas declared that “the Conservatives are calling for Council Tax to be frozen next year and for Labour to honour their pledge to refund 1% council tax to residents. Planned increases of parking, CPZ and garden waste charges must also be reversed.”
Barnet Conservatives call for transparency over Labour’s plans to establish a Citizens Assembly on Climate Change
‘We need to act quickly, but we also need to get this right’, says Councillor Rohit Grover.
Barnet Conservatives have called on the Council’s newly-appointed ‘Lead Member for Climate Change’, Labour’s Councillor Alan Schneiderman, to be more transparent over his plans to establish a Citizens Assembly on Climate Change and Biodiversity.
At the 9 June meeting of Barnet Council’s Environment and Climate Change Committee, Conservative Councillors asked Committee Chair - Councillor Schneiderman, for details on his proposals, including how residents will be able to engage with the Citizens Assembly, how often the Assembly will meet, and what the cost to taxpayers will be. Neither Councillor Schneiderman nor any of the Council’s senior officers were able to provide these details.
Conservative Member for Garden Suburb ward, Councillor Rohit Grover, proposed that these details should therefore be finalised and brought back to the next meeting of the Committee in order for proper scrutiny to take place. All Labour members of the Committee voted against this suggestion, and instead waved through a recommendation that Councillor Schneiderman be granted full authority to establish the Citizens Assembly together with the Deputy Chief Executive. Labour Councillors also voted to appoint Councillor Schneiderman as ‘Lead Member for Climate Change’.
‘It’s a bit ironic that one of Labour’s first acts on taking over the Council was to change the constitution to create a ‘Climate Change’ committee, yet their flagship policy of establishing a Citizens Assembly on Climate Change won’t be scrutinised by this Committee,’ said Cllr Grover. ‘All we’re asking is for Committee members to have a meaningful say on the development of the Assembly, specifically on how residents will be able to get involved and how its success will be measured.
‘It seems to go against the ethos of such an assembly to shut down any discussion or scrutiny over its remit or objectives. This is not a great start – making progress on the Council’s objective of becoming net zero by the end of this decade is one of the most important issues facing Barnet, and we should have confidence that the Citizens Assembly will lead to real outcomes. Of course, we need to act quickly, but we also need to get this right.’
Barnet Conservatives Call Out Sadiq Khan Over Proposed ULEZ Expansion and 'pay per mile'
On Clean Air Day, Barnet Conservatives are calling out Sadiq Khan for using air quality as an excuse to expand ULEZ and force drivers to 'pay per mile'.
Barnet Conservative leader, Cllr Dan Thomas, said, "Barnet's air quality is good, nitrogen dioxide levels are well within national limits and air pollution is falling. We can always make improvements, but we don't need drastic measures that will cost more to drive to work. Barnet Conservatives are opposed to ULEZ expansion and pay per mile."
"Sadiq Khan's budgets are in a mess, he is using air quality as an excuse to raise extra cash from Barnet drivers."
"We are calling for a measured approach to improve air quality, such as continuing our policy to increase ownership of electric cars. We also need Sadiq Khan to reduce congestion by improving problem road junctions such as Mill Hill Circus".