After Cllr Bell’s contribution to last night’s cabinet meeting, reported below, the Ealing Tory group on the council have issued the following press relase:
LABOUR LEADER WHO VOTED FOR 48% COUNCIL TAX RISES NOW CALLS FOR SERVICE CUTS
Ealing’s Labour Group Leader, Cllr Julian Bell, stunned Cabinet last night when he called on the Council to find millions of pounds of service cuts in preparation for next year’s budget.
The remarks made by Cllr Bell are extraordinary given his record on Council Tax. During the last term of the previous Labour administration, Cllr Bell voted for Council Tax increases amounting to 48% over four years. By contrast, he has voted against the two below inflation Council Tax increases of 1.9% by the current Conservative administration. As recently as March this year, Labour was calling on the Conservative administration to increase spending and taxation in Ealing by £3.6M.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Jason Stacey said: “The last Labour administration increased Council Tax in Ealing by more than every other Council in London apart from Croydon. Cllr Bell has fought us at every turn in our efforts to offer relief to Council Tax payers, so it is quite breathtaking that he suddenly now wants us to cut services.
“This administration has made it clear that we understand people’s financial difficulties in the current economic climate, and will continue to deliver value for money with below inflation Council tax increases. However, we are committed to maintaining support for the vulnerable and will not make the kind of cuts that will put key Council services at risk.
“I challenge Cllr Bell to say exactly where he would like to see cuts and how he would protect the elderly and other vulnerable people from his axe. We look forward to seeing the outcome of his work.”