Conservatives pledge to freeze York council tax

York Press: Conservative leader Coun Chris Steward Conservative leader Coun Chris Steward

YORK’S Conservatives would freeze council tax and keep free parking passes for residents through their budget plans, they have said.

City of York Council’s 2014/15 budget will be debated next Thursday, and the Tories want to accept a £778,000 Government grant allowing the tax to be frozen.

The ruling Labour group has proposed raising it by 1.9 per cent, saying taking the alternative would mean £590,000 of extra cuts.

Conservative leader Coun Chris Steward said his party would fund additional salt and litter bins and an extra green bin collection in winter, and put more money into pothole repairs, gulley-cleaning and apprenticeships, and abandon plans to replace free Minster Badges with paid-for permits.

He said £608,000 of uncommitted cash in the council’s Delivery and Innovation Fund would help pay for the proposals, as would using the Government’s New Homes Bonus payments for York, while reducing funding for the Reinvigorate York city-centre facelift project would allow £180,000 extra for services.

Coun Steward said: “Residents and businesses are best served by the council providing good, basic services, rather than vanity projects, and the council should stop interfering and let people spend their own money by accepting the council tax freeze grant.”

Deputy council leader Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing said the Tory budget would cut economic investment and services for vulnerable people, reduce pay in adult social care and support privatisation.

Comments (22)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:49am Thu 20 Feb 14

Pete the Brickie says...

Great, but what is their position on council executive pay, blanket 20mph zones and council sponsored traffic obstructions?
Great, but what is their position on council executive pay, blanket 20mph zones and council sponsored traffic obstructions? Pete the Brickie

9:59am Thu 20 Feb 14

Archiebold the 1st says...

he's just read all the complaints on here and thought "these are mine for the taking mwah mwah mwah...."

He can not afford to do all of the above and pete you're right i'd rather see what their traffic plan was as at the moment. It is the main issue with York. Planning in an additional 30minutes to every journey is stupid... Don’t get me wrong i really want a change in leadership but i'm not falling for the spout above.... if it was that simple surely the current mob would have done it...

This in theory should be the easiest win of they will ever have... "we will open lendal" bang local election won.....
he's just read all the complaints on here and thought "these are mine for the taking mwah mwah mwah...." He can not afford to do all of the above and pete you're right i'd rather see what their traffic plan was as at the moment. It is the main issue with York. Planning in an additional 30minutes to every journey is stupid... Don’t get me wrong i really want a change in leadership but i'm not falling for the spout above.... if it was that simple surely the current mob would have done it... This in theory should be the easiest win of they will ever have... "we will open lendal" bang local election won..... Archiebold the 1st

10:53am Thu 20 Feb 14

Zetkin says...

Same old Tories, plenty of rhetoric to make it sound like they give a stuff about us plebs, whilst plotting to destroy, cut, or privatise anything that moves.
Same old Tories, plenty of rhetoric to make it sound like they give a stuff about us plebs, whilst plotting to destroy, cut, or privatise anything that moves. Zetkin

10:57am Thu 20 Feb 14

PurplePrincess75 says...

Zetkin wrote:
Same old Tories, plenty of rhetoric to make it sound like they give a stuff about us plebs, whilst plotting to destroy, cut, or privatise anything that moves.
Yep, completely agree. Look after their own, support wider Tory initiatives to destroy anyone or anything that they look down upon. Whatever so-called benefits they give, they take off elsewhere - usually off those who are finding life to be a never ending and ever-increasing struggle since the tories came into power.
[quote][p][bold]Zetkin[/bold] wrote: Same old Tories, plenty of rhetoric to make it sound like they give a stuff about us plebs, whilst plotting to destroy, cut, or privatise anything that moves.[/p][/quote]Yep, completely agree. Look after their own, support wider Tory initiatives to destroy anyone or anything that they look down upon. Whatever so-called benefits they give, they take off elsewhere - usually off those who are finding life to be a never ending and ever-increasing struggle since the tories came into power. PurplePrincess75

10:59am Thu 20 Feb 14

nowthen says...

Zetkin wrote:
Same old Tories, plenty of rhetoric to make it sound like they give a stuff about us plebs, whilst plotting to destroy, cut, or privatise anything that moves.
Anything's better than the Merrettocracy we're now burdened with.
[quote][p][bold]Zetkin[/bold] wrote: Same old Tories, plenty of rhetoric to make it sound like they give a stuff about us plebs, whilst plotting to destroy, cut, or privatise anything that moves.[/p][/quote]Anything's better than the Merrettocracy we're now burdened with. nowthen

10:59am Thu 20 Feb 14

roskoboskovic says...

i ve never voted tory and haven t even voted for any of the scumbags for years but if labour won t listen then good luck to the blues.labour councils presume that labour voters must be cycling,tofu eating,save the whale,feminist multiculturalists who hate the combustion engine and send our kids to steiner school.well wake up alexander,we re not.
i ve never voted tory and haven t even voted for any of the scumbags for years but if labour won t listen then good luck to the blues.labour councils presume that labour voters must be cycling,tofu eating,save the whale,feminist multiculturalists who hate the combustion engine and send our kids to steiner school.well wake up alexander,we re not. roskoboskovic

11:28am Thu 20 Feb 14

inthesticks says...

Don`t be taken in by the freezing council tax spin. It just means it will leap up to catch up at a later date.
Don`t be taken in by the freezing council tax spin. It just means it will leap up to catch up at a later date. inthesticks

11:52am Thu 20 Feb 14

Mr. Marcus says...

roskoboskovic wrote:
i ve never voted tory and haven t even voted for any of the scumbags for years but if labour won t listen then good luck to the blues.labour councils presume that labour voters must be cycling,tofu eating,save the whale,feminist multiculturalists who hate the combustion engine and send our kids to steiner school.well wake up alexander,we re not.
I''ll vote for any decent, honesty political party in the local elections in 2016, but not the Labour Alexander and Merrettocracy.
I will vote Labour in the national elections if there is a good candidate like John Grogan.
I even voted for Alexander in 2010 when he aborted his candidacy in York Outer!
[quote][p][bold]roskoboskovic[/bold] wrote: i ve never voted tory and haven t even voted for any of the scumbags for years but if labour won t listen then good luck to the blues.labour councils presume that labour voters must be cycling,tofu eating,save the whale,feminist multiculturalists who hate the combustion engine and send our kids to steiner school.well wake up alexander,we re not.[/p][/quote]I''ll vote for any decent, honesty political party in the local elections in 2016, but not the Labour Alexander and Merrettocracy. I will vote Labour in the national elections if there is a good candidate like John Grogan. I even voted for Alexander in 2010 when he aborted his candidacy in York Outer! Mr. Marcus

12:04pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Knavesmire view says...

I don't care what party it is, so long as they prioritise the services and needs of the residents of this City rather than peddling their own dogmatic, vanity agenda as is currently the case.
I don't care what party it is, so long as they prioritise the services and needs of the residents of this City rather than peddling their own dogmatic, vanity agenda as is currently the case. Knavesmire view

12:10pm Thu 20 Feb 14

NoNewsIsGoodNews says...

People really need to wake up and ask them self what voting actually achieves?

The answer you soon realise, is absolutely nothing.
People really need to wake up and ask them self what voting actually achieves? The answer you soon realise, is absolutely nothing. NoNewsIsGoodNews

12:16pm Thu 20 Feb 14

sheps lad says...

NoNewsIsGoodNews wrote:
People really need to wake up and ask them self what voting actually achieves?

The answer you soon realise, is absolutely nothing.
So what is the alternative?
[quote][p][bold]NoNewsIsGoodNews[/bold] wrote: People really need to wake up and ask them self what voting actually achieves? The answer you soon realise, is absolutely nothing.[/p][/quote]So what is the alternative? sheps lad

12:16pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Rankled says...

NoNewsIsGoodNews wrote:
People really need to wake up and ask them self what voting actually achieves?

The answer you soon realise, is absolutely nothing.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't vote. Voter apathy is one of the reasons councils can get away with anything they like. You need to vote where you can, email your local councillors, attend consultations, go to open days, quiz them mercilessly when they knock on your door, and generally give them as much grief as possible.
[quote][p][bold]NoNewsIsGoodNews[/bold] wrote: People really need to wake up and ask them self what voting actually achieves? The answer you soon realise, is absolutely nothing.[/p][/quote]That doesn't mean you shouldn't vote. Voter apathy is one of the reasons councils can get away with anything they like. You need to vote where you can, email your local councillors, attend consultations, go to open days, quiz them mercilessly when they knock on your door, and generally give them as much grief as possible. Rankled

12:19pm Thu 20 Feb 14

powerwatt says...

Pete the Brickie wrote:
Great, but what is their position on council executive pay, blanket 20mph zones and council sponsored traffic obstructions?
-No blanket 20mph, specific sites.
-Reducing amount spent on execs
-Making York work for all road users, not just those that are used by the Councillors
[quote][p][bold]Pete the Brickie[/bold] wrote: Great, but what is their position on council executive pay, blanket 20mph zones and council sponsored traffic obstructions?[/p][/quote]-No blanket 20mph, specific sites. -Reducing amount spent on execs -Making York work for all road users, not just those that are used by the Councillors powerwatt

12:36pm Thu 20 Feb 14

perplexed says...

Councillors in Oxfordshire, which covers Mr Cameron’s constituency of Witney, met on Tuesday to approve a 1.99 per cent increase. A rise of 1.99 per cent was approved yesterday by North Yorkshire County Council, which includes Richmond, Mr Hague’s constituency.

Across England almost a third of councils are planning to increase charges, many to the maximum level allowed without triggering a local referendum, despite a demand from Eric Pickles that they cut or freeze bills. Of course this does not excuse wasteful council spending money on ridiculous projects. However, as the Local Government Association points out Whitehall grants to councils are being cut by 40 per cent between 2010 and 2015, at a time when demographic pressure is growing.

Will Chris Steward condemn his fellow Tory councillors on North Yorkshire Council for not freezing their council tax ? He might be able to point out to them where they are wasting money on their own 'vanity projects'.
Councillors in Oxfordshire, which covers Mr Cameron’s constituency of Witney, met on Tuesday to approve a 1.99 per cent increase. A rise of 1.99 per cent was approved yesterday by North Yorkshire County Council, which includes Richmond, Mr Hague’s constituency. Across England almost a third of councils are planning to increase charges, many to the maximum level allowed without triggering a local referendum, despite a demand from Eric Pickles that they cut or freeze bills. Of course this does not excuse wasteful council spending money on ridiculous projects. However, as the Local Government Association points out Whitehall grants to councils are being cut by 40 per cent between 2010 and 2015, at a time when demographic pressure is growing. Will Chris Steward condemn his fellow Tory councillors on North Yorkshire Council for not freezing their council tax ? He might be able to point out to them where they are wasting money on their own 'vanity projects'. perplexed

3:04pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Chris Steward says...

perplexed wrote:
Councillors in Oxfordshire, which covers Mr Cameron’s constituency of Witney, met on Tuesday to approve a 1.99 per cent increase. A rise of 1.99 per cent was approved yesterday by North Yorkshire County Council, which includes Richmond, Mr Hague’s constituency.

Across England almost a third of councils are planning to increase charges, many to the maximum level allowed without triggering a local referendum, despite a demand from Eric Pickles that they cut or freeze bills. Of course this does not excuse wasteful council spending money on ridiculous projects. However, as the Local Government Association points out Whitehall grants to councils are being cut by 40 per cent between 2010 and 2015, at a time when demographic pressure is growing.

Will Chris Steward condemn his fellow Tory councillors on North Yorkshire Council for not freezing their council tax ? He might be able to point out to them where they are wasting money on their own 'vanity projects'.
I would love to see all councils freeze tax but the circumstances vary from one to another. North Yorkshire Council has only just raised council tax after two years of freezes more than Labour in York can manage. It is York I am interested in and the figures of the York budget I am concerned about, but we only need about £500k to freeze council tax and take the government grant - the leader of York council has his own personal vanity pool (called the Delivery and Innovation Fund) which he can spend on things of his choice alone, there is currently £600k in that which is more than needed for the council tax freeze. The leader of North Yorkshire Council has no such fund!

There are numerous other things - North Yorkshire Council has not spent £600k on 20mph signage everywhere, has no plans for an arts barge, didn't hike the number of cabinet members when elected etc etc! it's all about choices.

Archiebold - not sure what you mean about we can't do all of it, our budget is fully approved by the council's head of finance as balanced, legal and workable.
[quote][p][bold]perplexed[/bold] wrote: Councillors in Oxfordshire, which covers Mr Cameron’s constituency of Witney, met on Tuesday to approve a 1.99 per cent increase. A rise of 1.99 per cent was approved yesterday by North Yorkshire County Council, which includes Richmond, Mr Hague’s constituency. Across England almost a third of councils are planning to increase charges, many to the maximum level allowed without triggering a local referendum, despite a demand from Eric Pickles that they cut or freeze bills. Of course this does not excuse wasteful council spending money on ridiculous projects. However, as the Local Government Association points out Whitehall grants to councils are being cut by 40 per cent between 2010 and 2015, at a time when demographic pressure is growing. Will Chris Steward condemn his fellow Tory councillors on North Yorkshire Council for not freezing their council tax ? He might be able to point out to them where they are wasting money on their own 'vanity projects'.[/p][/quote]I would love to see all councils freeze tax but the circumstances vary from one to another. North Yorkshire Council has only just raised council tax after two years of freezes more than Labour in York can manage. It is York I am interested in and the figures of the York budget I am concerned about, but we only need about £500k to freeze council tax and take the government grant - the leader of York council has his own personal vanity pool (called the Delivery and Innovation Fund) which he can spend on things of his choice alone, there is currently £600k in that which is more than needed for the council tax freeze. The leader of North Yorkshire Council has no such fund! There are numerous other things - North Yorkshire Council has not spent £600k on 20mph signage everywhere, has no plans for an arts barge, didn't hike the number of cabinet members when elected etc etc! it's all about choices. Archiebold - not sure what you mean about we can't do all of it, our budget is fully approved by the council's head of finance as balanced, legal and workable. Chris Steward

3:27pm Thu 20 Feb 14

NoNewsIsGoodNews says...

Rankled wrote:
NoNewsIsGoodNews wrote:
People really need to wake up and ask them self what voting actually achieves?

The answer you soon realise, is absolutely nothing.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't vote. Voter apathy is one of the reasons councils can get away with anything they like. You need to vote where you can, email your local councillors, attend consultations, go to open days, quiz them mercilessly when they knock on your door, and generally give them as much grief as possible.
And after doing all that Rankled, you will still achieve nothing.

It's got nothing to do with apathy, that's just a word these politicians use to try to discredit the people who are tired of their endless false promises and lies.

@sheps lad. There is no alternative yet, and they never will be while we keep doing more of the same by voting every couple of years.

After all the only reason they allow you to vote is to make you believe that you are doing something positive and actually having a say in how your country/ council is being run.
It's a game that they have been playing for years, a game where they own all the pieces, a game where they set all the rules, a game where you can never win, a game where they can and will change the rules when somebody gets to good.

By all means, keep on following the other sheep blindly into the pen to cast your vote.
And occasionally vent your displeasure on this site.
And no doubt your politicians/councill
ors will take that as a license to bury their snouts firmly into the trough, where it will stay until somebody realises that there is nothing left.
[quote][p][bold]Rankled[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]NoNewsIsGoodNews[/bold] wrote: People really need to wake up and ask them self what voting actually achieves? The answer you soon realise, is absolutely nothing.[/p][/quote]That doesn't mean you shouldn't vote. Voter apathy is one of the reasons councils can get away with anything they like. You need to vote where you can, email your local councillors, attend consultations, go to open days, quiz them mercilessly when they knock on your door, and generally give them as much grief as possible.[/p][/quote]And after doing all that Rankled, you will still achieve nothing. It's got nothing to do with apathy, that's just a word these politicians use to try to discredit the people who are tired of their endless false promises and lies. @sheps lad. There is no alternative yet, and they never will be while we keep doing more of the same by voting every couple of years. After all the only reason they allow you to vote is to make you believe that you are doing something positive and actually having a say in how your country/ council is being run. It's a game that they have been playing for years, a game where they own all the pieces, a game where they set all the rules, a game where you can never win, a game where they can and will change the rules when somebody gets to good. By all means, keep on following the other sheep blindly into the pen to cast your vote. And occasionally vent your displeasure on this site. And no doubt your politicians/councill ors will take that as a license to bury their snouts firmly into the trough, where it will stay until somebody realises that there is nothing left. NoNewsIsGoodNews

4:00pm Thu 20 Feb 14

nowthen says...

NoNewsIsGoodNews wrote:
Rankled wrote:
NoNewsIsGoodNews wrote:
People really need to wake up and ask them self what voting actually achieves?

The answer you soon realise, is absolutely nothing.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't vote. Voter apathy is one of the reasons councils can get away with anything they like. You need to vote where you can, email your local councillors, attend consultations, go to open days, quiz them mercilessly when they knock on your door, and generally give them as much grief as possible.
And after doing all that Rankled, you will still achieve nothing.

It's got nothing to do with apathy, that's just a word these politicians use to try to discredit the people who are tired of their endless false promises and lies.

@sheps lad. There is no alternative yet, and they never will be while we keep doing more of the same by voting every couple of years.

After all the only reason they allow you to vote is to make you believe that you are doing something positive and actually having a say in how your country/ council is being run.
It's a game that they have been playing for years, a game where they own all the pieces, a game where they set all the rules, a game where you can never win, a game where they can and will change the rules when somebody gets to good.

By all means, keep on following the other sheep blindly into the pen to cast your vote.
And occasionally vent your displeasure on this site.
And no doubt your politicians/councill

ors will take that as a license to bury their snouts firmly into the trough, where it will stay until somebody realises that there is nothing left.
If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it. Mark Twain
[quote][p][bold]NoNewsIsGoodNews[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rankled[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]NoNewsIsGoodNews[/bold] wrote: People really need to wake up and ask them self what voting actually achieves? The answer you soon realise, is absolutely nothing.[/p][/quote]That doesn't mean you shouldn't vote. Voter apathy is one of the reasons councils can get away with anything they like. You need to vote where you can, email your local councillors, attend consultations, go to open days, quiz them mercilessly when they knock on your door, and generally give them as much grief as possible.[/p][/quote]And after doing all that Rankled, you will still achieve nothing. It's got nothing to do with apathy, that's just a word these politicians use to try to discredit the people who are tired of their endless false promises and lies. @sheps lad. There is no alternative yet, and they never will be while we keep doing more of the same by voting every couple of years. After all the only reason they allow you to vote is to make you believe that you are doing something positive and actually having a say in how your country/ council is being run. It's a game that they have been playing for years, a game where they own all the pieces, a game where they set all the rules, a game where you can never win, a game where they can and will change the rules when somebody gets to good. By all means, keep on following the other sheep blindly into the pen to cast your vote. And occasionally vent your displeasure on this site. And no doubt your politicians/councill ors will take that as a license to bury their snouts firmly into the trough, where it will stay until somebody realises that there is nothing left.[/p][/quote]If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it. Mark Twain nowthen

6:30pm Thu 20 Feb 14

perplexed says...

Of course Local Government needs reform but cutting budgets by 40% and crippling services is senseless. What is the point of having a Council Tax freeze policy if many Conservative Local Authorities are not going to implement this policy? Chris Steward would have us believe that he would freeze Council tax next year and that might well be the case. But what about the following years, when he has got rid of his arts barge and 20 mph signs ? Can he guarantee essential services despite the 40% cut in Government funding ? Judging by the increasing number of Tory Councils who have rejected Eric Pickles council tax freeze, there are many tories who it would seem disagree with him.

Chris Steward is of course right on one thing. It is about choices, informed choices . Personally I would like to see more local independent councillors answerable to local people rather than to party .
Of course Local Government needs reform but cutting budgets by 40% and crippling services is senseless. What is the point of having a Council Tax freeze policy if many Conservative Local Authorities are not going to implement this policy? Chris Steward would have us believe that he would freeze Council tax next year and that might well be the case. But what about the following years, when he has got rid of his arts barge and 20 mph signs ? Can he guarantee essential services despite the 40% cut in Government funding ? Judging by the increasing number of Tory Councils who have rejected Eric Pickles council tax freeze, there are many tories who it would seem disagree with him. Chris Steward is of course right on one thing. It is about choices, informed choices . Personally I would like to see more local independent councillors answerable to local people rather than to party . perplexed

9:17pm Thu 20 Feb 14

pedalling paul says...

Still waiting for him to confirm that York will never be a car user's paradise......!
Still waiting for him to confirm that York will never be a car user's paradise......! pedalling paul

2:57am Fri 21 Feb 14

Magicman! says...

He talks the talk, but can he walk the walk??
He talks the talk, but can he walk the walk?? Magicman!

12:18pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Chris Steward says...

pedalling paul wrote:
Still waiting for him to confirm that York will never be a car user's paradise......!
Not sure if you're joking or being serious.

In my interview being made leader I said I thought York was too anti car and you wrote to The Press claiming I wanted everything for car users, which was simply not true. I commented online in reply to your letter that I do not want or believe York will ever be a 'car users' paradise'.

You then said I hadn't answered your point on another thread and I said the same as I have above.

I will now say yet again - YORK WILL NEVER BE A 'CAR USERS' PARADISE'. I genuinely don't see how much clearer I can be.

However I do not read many online comments so I don't know how many times you have put this 'question', if you want me to answer something email, phone or in person are far more sensible.
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: Still waiting for him to confirm that York will never be a car user's paradise......![/p][/quote]Not sure if you're joking or being serious. In my interview being made leader I said I thought York was too anti car and you wrote to The Press claiming I wanted everything for car users, which was simply not true. I commented online in reply to your letter that I do not want or believe York will ever be a 'car users' paradise'. You then said I hadn't answered your point on another thread and I said the same as I have above. I will now say yet again - YORK WILL NEVER BE A 'CAR USERS' PARADISE'. I genuinely don't see how much clearer I can be. However I do not read many online comments so I don't know how many times you have put this 'question', if you want me to answer something email, phone or in person are far more sensible. Chris Steward

5:32pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Alf Garnett says...

Why not slash council tax to zero ? Sack the police, fire and ambulance services; make people empty their own bins. Let the rubbish pile up along the roadsides (more than it already has); close the schools and let old people die neglected (ignore that, they do already). Typical tory "it isn't a question of money" patter. Of course none of the above will happen. I'm just being hyperbolic ; in reality, teachers will have to put up with poorer resources, dustmen will run faster; care homes will be staffed by cut-price part-time unqualified staff and children's services will be closed down. The vast majority of people who pay council tax could afford a 4% increase. That is £4 extra for every £100 currently paid. What's the matter with us ? Can we really not afford an extra £60/£70 a year ? We're just being peddled a mean-spirited agenda by a party devoid of any thought for other people.
Why not slash council tax to zero ? Sack the police, fire and ambulance services; make people empty their own bins. Let the rubbish pile up along the roadsides (more than it already has); close the schools and let old people die neglected (ignore that, they do already). Typical tory "it isn't a question of money" patter. Of course none of the above will happen. I'm just being hyperbolic ; in reality, teachers will have to put up with poorer resources, dustmen will run faster; care homes will be staffed by cut-price part-time unqualified staff and children's services will be closed down. The vast majority of people who pay council tax could afford a 4% increase. That is £4 extra for every £100 currently paid. What's the matter with us ? Can we really not afford an extra £60/£70 a year ? We're just being peddled a mean-spirited agenda by a party devoid of any thought for other people. Alf Garnett

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree