Residents party wants more help for poorer families in Uttlesford District Council budget

Councillor John Lodge

Councillor John Lodge - Credit: Archant

The new political party formed by residents has announced it supports Uttlesford District Council’s proposed tax cut - but wants more to be done to help poorer families.

On Thursday full council will vote on a motion to cut the district portion of the 2015/16 council tax bill by 3 per cent. Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) supports the cut, the group’s chairman said, but has filed an amendment to reverse the Conservatives removal of local council tax support “for those at risk”.

R4U party chairman Councillor John Lodge said: “We fully support the motion to cut taxes by 3 per cent. UDC is sitting on reserves of millions of pounds of unused cash, which rightly belongs to residents. It’s our money and should be returned to us.”

He added: “However it is important for us to support the most vulnerable in society. Last year the current UDC Administration withdrew council tax relief from the poorest families. During our manifesto consultations we received a number of comments, one resident wrote to say ‘we barely exist as it is and struggle to survive, most weeks I’m constantly watching my bills to see what’s left for food’.

“We have proposed an amendment to the tax cut to have local council tax support restored for those at risk. It can be fully funded within the existing reserves, and we’re calling for cross-party support.”