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Plymouth leader hits out at city MP's call to freeze Council Tax

By Plymouth Herald  |  Posted: December 06, 2013

By GRAEME DEMIANYK Parliamentary Correspondent @GraemeDemianyk

Plymouth leader hits out at city MP's call to freeze Council Tax

Tudor Evans

Comments (7)

The Labour leader of Plymouth City Council has labelled a Tory MP’s campaign to freeze council tax a “scam” as he has voted in Parliament for deep cuts to the authority’s budget.

Councillor Tudor Evans, leader of the Labour-controlled authority, has taken Oliver Colvile, Conservative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, to task as he has “consistently voted against more money” for the city.

His comments come after Chancellor George Osborne urged Plymouth City Council not to increase the charge after he pledged to spare councils from more budget cuts in his autumn statement.

In a stern rebuke, Labour has asked the Tory MP to explain how he squares his campaign with voting for a £30 million cut to the Plymouth City Council budget over the last three years, and a further £64.5 million reduction for the next three years.

Coun Evans said: “Mr Colvile has consistently voted against more money for Plymouth.

“That’s less money for potholes, less money for transport, less money for adult social care and less money for social services.

“People will see through his latest campaign because it is a scam that seeks to blame others for his actions.

“The reason the city council has been forced to raise council tax is because of the cuts Mr Colvile voted for that has seen the council’s budget cut by £30 million since his Government came to power, with a further £64.5million to budget for over the coming three.”

Luke Pollard, Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, added the MP’s campaign is “political smoke and mirrors”.

He said: “Mr Colvile is underestimating the people of Plymouth if he thinks that they will forget that it is the Government that he supports imposing savage cuts on local authorities; this cynical campaign does not make up for the fact that he voted for huge cuts to vital council budgets.

“Mr Colvile needs to be under no doubt that going to Westminster and voting for massive cuts for vital services in Plymouth, and then campaigning against those same cuts in Plymouth is not acceptable and his constituents expect more from their representative.

“Oliver Colvile needs to make a choice as to whether he is on the side of his constituents or his party leadership – he cannot do both.”

Labour wants the MP to campaign for parity of funding between Plymouth and Portsmouth on public health – claiming Plymouth gets £30 per person less than the rival dockyard city – and to oppose any further cuts in local government funding.

The Plymouth council this year hiked the charge by 2%, meaning householders in a typical band D property will pay around £1,507 in total. Next year’s budget is due in February.

In the House of Commons on Thursday, Mr Colvile said local authorities “no longer need to increase council tax”.

The Chancellor replied: “Plymouth council absolutely should freeze council tax. I commend his and his constituents for their campaign to make that happen.

“If his council does not deliver a council tax freeze, he can ask Labour why it is putting up the cost of living for his constituents.”

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  • Rick_OShay  |  December 07 2013, 9:16AM

    Reading about the clown Colvile is always amusing. This is the same Colvile who claimed £133,000 in expenses last year, gets £65 K salary and enjoys all expenses paid trips/holidays to Saudi Arabia, Gibraltar and the cricket. Apparently on Planet Colvile this qualifies him to advise on how local services are paid for. There is something weirdly admirable about his hypocrisy. Rick O'Shay Zog

    Rate   10
  • b_mused  |  December 06 2013, 10:19PM

    Again and again the uselessly naive Ollie fails to represent Plymouth's interests. As an impartial observer from the other side of the Tamar, I wonder how he ever got elected. Must go in 2015.

    Rate   9
  • fiest1406  |  December 06 2013, 3:12PM

    "Oliver Colvile needs to make a choice as to whether he is on the side of his constituents or his party leadership – he cannot do both." Rather odd comment from Tudor who clearly states the party comes first not the constituents? another point is, since Labour got back in all it has done is rack up every charge it can from the lame, poor and dead! Worse is he still wants more rather then trying to get his own house in order....Its gets worse, given away assets and his mate James Brent got 2 million of our money from Tudor and he has the audacity to question others....A bit of calling black in my mind or he thinks we are all fools!

    Rate   3
  • miniman1  |  December 06 2013, 1:29PM

    One thing that does baffle me is why it is deemed necessary to have an attendant at the disabled drivers entrance to the Hoe. When ever I visit there is someone there, so I guess its a seven days a week job. Surely this could be policed by normal traffic wardens, which would save the council thousands.

    Rate   7
  • fazer58  |  December 06 2013, 1:06PM

    Come on Tudor,you and the rest of PCC do quite nicely on the gravy train and you know it.stop blaming everyone else for your incompetence and do what you get all those lovely expenses to do.

    Rate   -1
  • tango221  |  December 06 2013, 1:05PM

    Amazing, one minute uncle Joe Evans is bleating on about a cost of living crisis, next minute he is demanding more money from teachers and nurses and cleaners backed up by the threat of prosecution. Oh the Irony hahahaha

    Rate   5
  • beowulfonline  |  December 06 2013, 11:46AM

    Colvile must be running scared now that there's a general election on the horizon given his voting record on this matter.

    Rate   9