YET again, Labour leader Councillor Alexander tries to blame others for his own mistakes. This time over Labour’s decision to turn down a government grant and increase council tax by nearly two per cent (The Press, March 20).

As my budget amendment showed, there was be no need to make cuts to fund a council tax freeze.

This year alone, Labour increased reserves to £7.3million while putting away millions more in secret funds (EIF, DIF and the Venture Fund).

Our plan would have put less into reserves and used the money to fund a freeze; money into the back pockets of residents, not into council coffers.

We would still have left reserves over £400,000 above minimum prudent levels – giving the council the ability to cope with financial risks.

Labour’s rejection of our plans should come as no surprise: helping residents by freezing council tax and investing in frontline services is not a priority.

Instead, Coun Alexander borrows to fund city-centre vanity projects and racks up reserves while raising council tax and cutting front-line services.

This might suit his paymasters in London – trying to cast the coalition government as the bogeyman for cuts – but it is not fooling people in York.

Coun Nigel Ayre, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for finance, Galtres Road, York.