The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has joined the chorus of criticism surrounding the 2.5 per cent council tax hike in Calderdale.
Eric Pickles responded to a letter from Halifax Conservative Party candidate Philip Allott who said the conduct of the local authority in imposing the rise was a disgrace.
Mr Allott said a grant was made available to all authorities which decided to freeze or reduce council tax and the rise was unncessary.
Mr Pickles said it was disappointing that people in Calderdale will be paying more council tax.
And, that was because the council, West Yorkshire Fire Authority, and the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, had all set the maximum increases permissable without a referendum.
“Council tax decisions are a matter for each individual authority and it is for them to justify their decisions to local people - although I am sure that council tax payers in Calderdale will not understand why the relevant authorities in Calderdale have taken money out of their pockets rather than accepting the extra funding on offer for a freeze.”
Mr Allott claimed it was a politically motivated move to galvanise support against the Government and people aren’t happy.
He was canvassing in Skircoat Green today (Sat) having earlier talked to people on the doorsteps in Northowram and Shelf.
“The general consensus is that the rise was unncessary and people are quite annoyed about it,” said Mr Allott.
“They are not getting pay increases at work.”
The rise puts £36 a year on a Band D property.