Liberal Democrat Councillors voted against the Conservatives proposals for a new tax on brown bins at the Council meeting today (18th February 2016).
Conservative bosses also agreed a 4.5% Council Tax rise too. Similar further rises are planned for each of the next four years - which will increase Council Tax by nearly 18% over the Conservatives four-year term.
In his response to the budget Lib Dem Opposition Leader Cllr Stuart Bray (Hinckley Castle Ward) said: "The Conservatives recently undertook a botched consultation exercise where local residents were asked to choose between either a council tax rise or a new brown bin tax and now the Tories have ignored local people and are implementing both.
"Residents now face a Tory triple-whammy. An inflation-busting Council Tax rise, a new tax to empty their bins and large increases in many fees, including a new charge for rat treatment and a rise in the cost of getting buried in the Borough. It is said that there is nothing certain in life except death and taxes and both of these are set to get a whole lot more expensive under the Tories."
"Conservative cuts at Westminster and County Hall are having a huge impact on the Borough Council's finances and local people are having to pick up the bill. If you tot-up the increases being imposed by the Count y Council, Police Commissioner and the Borough Council, people are going to be significantly worse off. But one thing is clear, with the Conservatives in charge at every level there is nobody else they can blame."
Lib Dem Finance Spokesman Keith Lynch (Hinckley Clarendon) added "For the previous eight years through careful planning and sound financial management, which was highly praised by independent auditors, the Lib Dems were able to protect front line services, freeze Council Tax for 5 years and put money away for a rainy day. After just one year the Conservatives are making a mess of it."
County Councillor Michael Mullaney (Hinckley Division) has today launched the Lib Dem petition. People can sign the Bin Tax petition by visiting www.BosworthLibDems.org.uk.
Cllr Mullaney added, "The Council estimates that 60% of the public will send their brown bins back and not pay the Tories' new bin tax. We are concerned that this will lead to an inevitable rise in fly-tipping and the cost of cleaning this up with fall back on the taxpayers."
Campaigners who fought to save the 2nd Fire Engine at Hinckley Fire Station are celebrating
a campaign success.
Leicestershire Fire Authority had proposed a series of cuts to local Fire Services, this
included removing the 2nd Fire Engine from Hinckley.
The Fire Authority has now changed its mind and recommended that the 2nd Fire Engine in Hinckley be saved.
Reacting to the news that the second Fire Engine at Hinckley will not be axed, Lib Dem representative on the Fire Authority County Councillor Stuart Bray (Lib Dem, Burbage Castle) said: "Back in the Autumn I told Fire bosses that these plans were dangerous and unacceptable and I'm delighted that they have now come round to our way of thinking. I am grateful for the huge public response and to all those people who attended the public meetings. This tremendous strength of feeling has forced Fire Chiefs to perform this welcome u-turn.
"It's a shame they didn't ditch their plans sooner and we could have saved the public expense of a long consultation period, money which could have been spent on front-line services.
"I will now be looking carefully at the new proposals and encouraging the Fire Authority to look at ways of saving money from back office functions which can be spent on keeping local residents safe."
Hinckley Lib Dem County Councillor Michael Mullaney said "People power has worked. The leaders of the Fire Authority who wanted to remove our areas 2nd Fire Engine have had to change their mind. Thanks to everyone who signed the petitions to save the Fire Engine, and to all the people who came to speak at the public meetings and took part in the consultations.
"The Hinckley area has a large population and it needs the 2nd Fire Engine to cover it. Thankfully instead of just accepting this huge cut to our local Fire Services people campaigned to save them and here in Hinckley the campaign has
been a success. It's great news for the Hinckley area that our 2nd Engine has been kept."
Hinckley and Bosworth Liberal Democrat County Councillors have thanked residents who signed a petition to save local Fire Services.
Well over a thousand people signed a petition run by local Lib Dem County Councillors David Bill, Stuart Bray, Keith Lynch and Michael Mullaney calling on Leicestershire Fire Authority to drop plans to massively cut back local Fire services.
Leicestershire Fire Authority proposals included closing two local Fire Stations and removing eleven Fire engines, including one of the two Fire Engines that are based in Hinckley.
Stuart Bray Lib Dem member of the Fire Authority said. "Lib Dem County Councillors have consistently opposed these plans to cut local Fire Services. Among the many local residents who opposed these plans have been current frontline firefighters who have warned that they'll no longer be able to properly protect Leicestershire residents. While money needs to be saved, it mustn't be at the expense of our safety."
Hinckley Lib Dem County Councillor Michael Mullaney said "A huge thank you to all the local residents who signed the petition. There has been huge opposition in the Hinckley area to the proposal take away one of our two remaining fire engines. In an area with as big a population as Hinckley, Burbage, Barwell, Earl Shilton, it's clear we need more than one Fire Engine.
"I hope the Fire Authority will take notice of the huge opposition from local residents to their plans, change them and keep the 2nd Fire Engine at Hinckley."
Reacting to the news that Hinckley and Bosworth's Conservative
administration intends to increase the Council Tax by 4.5%, Lib Dem
Opposition Leader Cllr Stuart Bray (Lib Dem, Hinckley Castle) said:
"We will be opposing this inflation-busting rise. During the last Lib
Dem administration we froze Council Tax for 5 consecutive years,
protected front-line services and put money away for a rainy day. After
less than a year the Tories have already made a mess of it.
"The last Conservative administration hiked up Council Tax and other
charges and it's happening all over again. The last Lib Dem Council set
in place new ways for the Council to make money on land it proposed to
sell off, if the Conservatives had continued that at the pace we had
intended then it was very likely that no increase would have been
necessary again this year."
This is on top of the new that Tory-controlled Leicestershire County
Council is also increasing their share of the Council Tax by 4% too.
Lib Dem Finance Spokesman Cllr Keith Lynch (Lib Dem, Hinckley
Clarendon) added: "George Osborne promised no tax rises but when he
takes such vast amounts of money away from councils, its local residents
that end up covering the gap with their Council Tax.
"With the Conservatives in charge at Westminster and both local
councils there is nobody else for them to blame."
Local author Stewart Bint has thrown his support behind a campaign to save a threatened local Library.
Barwell Library, situated in the George Ward Centre in Barwell is threatened with closure by Leicestershire County Council. The County Council are currently consulting on a proposal to close the Library and replace it with a mobile Library services.
Residents in Hinckley and Bosworth are being urged to add their names to a petition being run opposing plans to cut local Fire Services.
Controversial plans from Conservative led Leicestershire Fire Authority include proposals to close fire stations, the sacking of over 100 firefighters and scrapping of eleven out of thirty Fire engines.
The plans include the removal of one of the two Fire Engines that serve the Hinckley area. Consultation on the plans ends on December 4th and residents are being urged to write in to object to the proposals and to sign a petition that will be submitted by local Lib Dem Councillors opposing the cuts to local fire services.
Hinckley and Burbage County Councillor and member of the Fire Authority Stuart Bray said, "I'm totally opposed to these plans to cut local fire services. Firefighters on the ground, Fire Unions have warned that this level of cutbacks pose a risk to public safety. We're told that fire engines from Warwickshire could cover the Hinckley area but Warwickshire Fire Authority are reviewing their own services next year which may well see big cutbacks there."
Hinckley County Councillor Michael Mullaney added "Thanks to everyone who has signed the petition so far. The more signatures we get the more pressure we can put on the heads of the Fire Authority to drop these plans. I've spoken to hundreds of local residents who are extremely worried about the plans to remove one of Hinckley's two remaining Fire Engines."
People can sign the petition opposing the plans to cut local fire services at www.bosworthlibdems.org.uk or can call 01455 632445 for a paper copy.