The Argus Council Tax Debate Live

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  • Jason Kitcat, Geoffrey Theobald, and Warren Morgan to debate council tax rise
  • Questions from from floor and from online

8:35pm

Goodnight all. 

8:35pm

Apologies for the live feed failing just before time. And thanks for checking in on our live blog. 

Make sure you pick up a copy of tomorrow's Argus for full coverage of tonight's debate and plenty more reaction. 

Land there is still time to take part in our own referendum:

8:32pm

And that is that. Thank you to the panel for their time and answers and for those who have braved the weather to attend. 

8:31pm

JK: "If you don't like it that's fine but I am being open and honest."

8:31pm

8:31pm

JK: "We are doing it better and doing it right. Won't stand for being in race to the bottom 

"Heard nothing positive from opposition. I have taken responsibility."

8:31pm

JK: "We are doing it better and doing it right. Won't stand for being in race to the bottom 

"Heard nothing positive from opposition. I have taken responsibility."

8:30pm

WM: "will have had their day in media sun and will claim everyone was against them."

8:29pm

WM: "Papering over cracks and drawing attention away from their failures"

8:29pm

Summing ups now from the leaders. 

8:28pm

In response to question of funds from parking JK: "£10m of budget goes to concessionary bus fares

8:27pm

WM: "Adult social care more expensive than most in country."

8:26pm

JK: "We have seen a growth in demand for adult social care. 

"Have people older and sick and that is more expensive.

"work to be done working with NHS. Ahead of curve but nowhere near meeting budget demands."

8:24pm

What level have looked at how you can be more efficient or combining services?

8:23pm

JK: "Job is to do best for city. I have no choice but to go through referendum process."

8:23pm

JK: "potholes are national issue."

8:22pm

8:22pm

8:22pm

8:22pm

 

8:21pm

8:20pm

Both agree zero increase

8:20pm

Are the council lots going to have an increase in salary yourself?

8:19pm

But the live blog will keep on blogging

8:19pm

It's unlikely to be up and running again I'm afraid. 

8:19pm

Apologies for those wanting to watch on the live stream. It has just gone down but we are almost at the end of the debate. 

8:18pm

JK: "Challenges are great. 

8:18pm

WM: "Govt has put us in impossible situation.

"happy to work with JK to find solutions."

8:17pm

How are you going to avoid poor or vulnerable people either pay for or go without if ties not agreed?

8:15pm

WM: "Will never join coalition with conservatives."

8:15pm

When is WM actually going to do coalition withtories to get greens out?

8:14pm

Jk: it is completely deliverable

8:13pm

WM: "I will vote against i360,"

8:13pm

Do you think 2,000 people day will visit brighton and i360 to make it viable? Why not improve what we have got?

8:12pm

8:12pm

8:11pm

WM: "Energy prices are up and so are railway fares. 

"Cannot freeze council tax because of government cuts."

8:11pm

Next question: Why do you think people can afford £3 rise?

8:10pm

JK: "We have managed budget well so far."

8:09pm

8:09pm

8:09pm

8:08pm

8:08pm

JK: worst hit per capita as now does not take into account things such as student numbers.

really serious situation.  Critical time to have this debate. 

8:07pm

Why do you think this authority is being cut more than others?

8:07pm

WM: "People cannot afford this rise. Huge number cannot afford this. Not going to make life worse for them."

8:06pm

JK: "Wouldn't it be good for city to have these debates across the city"

8:06pm

JK: we think we have addressed most serious which has brought us to this figure."

8:05pm

Why don't you go for 10% rise?

8:03pm

The Argus:

8:01pm

8:01pm

8:01pm

Geoffrey Theobald has had to leave but the other panel members remain. 

8:00pm

8:00pm

8:00pm

7:59pm

WM: "Evene David Cameron acknowledged council are most efficient so why are they getting biggest cuts."

7:59pm

GT: "That sums it up. Had a number of email from people extremely worried and waste of money going to referendum. Why should we have to suffer in this way?"

7:58pm

GT: "Picked up email saying many households have to find money to pay outside our house. Increase in council tax would be extra 11% just to live in our home. "

7:57pm

GT :people with learning difficulties is an important subject. We would be looking at every single service

7:57pm

If any you had learning disabled child would you take services away from them?

7:56pm

JK: date set by communities secretary Eric pickles to save costs. 

7:55pm

Was the referendum date planned for low turnout day of European elections

7:55pm

JK: "Last two years we have had two underspends.  Overall council very well budgeted."

7:54pm

Will you sack chief executive and get back financial control?

7:53pm

7:53pm

7:53pm

7:52pm

7:52pm

JK: "Council cannot take anymore cuts and I am bring open about it."

7:51pm

JK: "Because council inherits five or six year contracts we cannot zero budget. Need to set priorities and we have made choices."

7:50pm

Why are you not looking at zero budgeting?

7:49pm

7:49pm

JK: "Figures will be published tomorrow for everyone to see."

7:48pm

JK: "I accept the referendum process is imperfect. 

"I don't pretend to know outcome of referendum. I am not that arrogant. People will have two months to decide."

7:47pm

Last thing people will vote for. Will have to change tax half way through year. What will be cost of people not having money in pockets and how will you do cuts halfway through year?

7:46pm

7:45pm

 

7:44pm

7:44pm

7:44pm

7:43pm

GT "it is what is happening in other councils up and down the country."

7:42pm

GT "council expenditure has increased and so has expenditure on employees. Spending is going up."

7:41pm

JK "have duty to do best for residents"

7:41pm

Resign and let government do it?

7:40pm

7:40pm

7:39pm

WM: "It's a 39m risk of years. If private sector are not willing why should council tax payers? Too great a risk."

7:39pm

JK: "is a risk involved and it is something we need to consider but at least we are looking at it. Need to find ways to fund local services."

7:38pm

Risk to council if i360 goes wrong?

7:38pm

JK:"Not money that can be spent on other services."

7:38pm

JK: "seafront needs £100m. If it falls down where does our income come from?"

7:37pm

JK: "No decision taken but would be government loan. Council would benefit from that. 

Reality is with other parties committed to slashing on other source of money."

7:36pm

Next question: can you justify borrowing for i360 tower?

7:36pm

JK: transport budget cannot be spent on other services. 

We were one of the worst authorities for road safety and air pollution. 

7:35pm

Reader q: if we had shortfall why spend money on cycle lane and 20mph limit. 

7:35pm

JK: "We listened and they said social care was a concern. I out it to my group and they supported it."

7:34pm

WM: "About choices. Talking to council leaders and learn how others are doing it."

7:34pm

GT: "Point really trying to make is services do not really need to be expensive as they are. We could sort them out without trying to reduce them."

7:32pm

GT: "Plucked figure out of the air. Now they're deciding how to spend it."

7:32pm

GT: greens doing this the wrong way round. 

7:31pm

7:30pm

7:30pm

JK: only thing we have. Other councils want to do this but cannot. Trying to be open and honest about this. 

"this is a crisis. We are trying to provide choice and let the people decide."

7:29pm

Going to hit lowest incomes, is it not time for new style tax?

7:28pm

JK: "100 million pounds coming out.

"no difference between us and previous government finding efficiencies."

7:27pm

7:26pm

7:26pm

JK: "What is non essential? Let's hear it. At least with GT you know he wants to privatise."

7:25pm

WM: "Dobt support projects like i360. Schools and refuse more important."

7:25pm

WM would review all services and cut non-essential services. 

7:24pm

7:24pm

What will a Labour do next year and year after (in face of cuts)

7:23pm

7:23pm

GT: "should be looking at all council services and make sure as efficient as possible."

7:23pm

GT: "We inherited the deficit from the Labour group.

"All services are very important."

7:22pm

JK: "Wehave put forward our proposals and we put forward alternate proposals in opposition."

7:21pm

WM: "Not going to be able to stop all the cuts but there are other areas we could make cuts."

7:21pm

WM: "Other expenditure council makes. Have they looked at that?"

7:20pm

Next question: heard about govt cuts, but not heard about how you would solve issue. 

7:19pm

7:18pm

Retired teacher from Saltdeans ayes increase will mean less money on other things. Nobody wants to pay more. But asked son about council tax rise if it meant elderly people etc could get care they needed. 

7:16pm

WM: "You have a choice. Best way to stop cuts is elect Labour MPs and Labour council."

7:15pm

WM: "We won't wash our hands or grandstand when it costs residents money."

7:15pm

WM: "We know result of referendum will be no.

"Money could be better spent on services."

7:14pm

WM: "People cannot afford to pay and I will not make them pay.

"Greens out of touch with ordinary working people.

"Won't make people pay for Tory cuts."

7:13pm

Warren Morgan, Labour leader, now

7:13pm

GT: "No need for anything other than council tax freeze."

7:12pm

GT: "we will all receive 4.75% and then another cost to rebill.

"Do we want to put fear in heads of residents."

7:11pm

GT: "No appetite for council tax rise. Argus referendum is currently 3 to 1 against. Referendum costly."

7:10pm

GT: "Should be market testing some of our services we provide according to directors report. 

"In house services do not provide value for money says the report."

7:09pm

GT: "auditors saying we run our services expensively."

7:09pm

Geoffrey Theobald, Conservative leader, speaking now

7:09pm

JK: "I say no more and we must protect social care but big choice. 

"Right to let people decide."

7:08pm

JK:  "Do we save we cannot afford to care?"

7:07pm

JK: £4.53 a month increase for majority of households. 

7:07pm

JK: "saved almost £30m and we have to save more. Services will degrade or stop altogether."

7:06pm

JK: "Council tax and referndum process not perfect but that is all we have."

7:06pm

JK: "ageing population while government funding declining but inflation climbing."

7:05pm

JK: "Social care a safety net and comfort. But in crisis."

7:05pm

Jason Kitcat, Green Party leader, begins the procedings. 

7:04pm

Michael Beard: "Hope you will have a clear understanding of where three parties stand and why"

7:03pm

The Argus editor Michael Beard introduces the evening and thanks those who have braved the bad weather to attend. 

7:00pm

6:58pm

Our panel members are here. Almost time to start. The live streaming has also begun. 

The Argus:

6:54pm

6:53pm

6:53pm

6:52pm

 

6:51pm

We also have roving reporters among the crowd who will measure the reaction to the panel members' responses. 

6:47pm

The Argus:

The hall is filling up. 

6:38pm

We will also (technology willing) live stream the whole debate.

To watch use the video player below:

6:37pm

To get more on the background to the debate you can read reporter Neil Vowles' piece on what the main parties say:

It's debate day - The Argus

6:34pm

Welcome to our live blog of The Argus Council Tax Debate. 

We will be bringing you all the questions and answers from the debate as the party leader discuss a possible 4.75% rise in council tax for Brighton and Hove. 

Comments (23)

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7:25pm Thu 6 Feb 14

BornInBrighton1968 says...

You must totally check out my 'Green Girl' blog, I will be relaying life informations from tonights proceedings.

There will be a Green Party security team on-hand, just in case Labour supporters decide to cause any trouble.

We are going to give labour and Tories such a good kicking tonight!

If anybody wants to talk to me, I will be with Anya all of this evening
You must totally check out my 'Green Girl' blog, I will be relaying life informations from tonights proceedings. There will be a Green Party security team on-hand, just in case Labour supporters decide to cause any trouble. We are going to give labour and Tories such a good kicking tonight! If anybody wants to talk to me, I will be with Anya all of this evening BornInBrighton1968

7:28pm Thu 6 Feb 14

BornInBrighton1968 says...

Sorry, meant to do the above as a quote; copy-and-pasted from a post that she made on another story, for your amusement
Sorry, meant to do the above as a quote; copy-and-pasted from a post that she made on another story, for your amusement BornInBrighton1968

8:31pm Thu 6 Feb 14

HJarrs says...

BornInBrighton1968 wrote:
Sorry, meant to do the above as a quote; copy-and-pasted from a post that she made on another story, for your amusement
Hmmmm, I wonder if you just forgot the right account to post on.
[quote][p][bold]BornInBrighton1968[/bold] wrote: Sorry, meant to do the above as a quote; copy-and-pasted from a post that she made on another story, for your amusement[/p][/quote]Hmmmm, I wonder if you just forgot the right account to post on. HJarrs

8:34pm Thu 6 Feb 14

HJarrs says...

Well, if you take away all the councillors out of the audience, I think someone may have turned up!
Well, if you take away all the councillors out of the audience, I think someone may have turned up! HJarrs

8:38pm Thu 6 Feb 14

BornInBrighton1968 says...

HJarrs wrote:
BornInBrighton1968 wrote:
Sorry, meant to do the above as a quote; copy-and-pasted from a post that she made on another story, for your amusement
Hmmmm, I wonder if you just forgot the right account to post on.
God, you are desperate aren't you?
[quote][p][bold]HJarrs[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BornInBrighton1968[/bold] wrote: Sorry, meant to do the above as a quote; copy-and-pasted from a post that she made on another story, for your amusement[/p][/quote]Hmmmm, I wonder if you just forgot the right account to post on.[/p][/quote]God, you are desperate aren't you? BornInBrighton1968

8:46pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Green_Girl_1990 says...

An EXCELLENT victory for the Green Party!

All you Labour cry-babies must find it difficult being up so late past your bed time!
An EXCELLENT victory for the Green Party! All you Labour cry-babies must find it difficult being up so late past your bed time! Green_Girl_1990

8:49pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Green_Girl_1990 says...

An astonishingly powerful performance from the Green Council!

So excite to watch, it is clear to see that Jason Kitcat is a man 10 years ahead of his time
An astonishingly powerful performance from the Green Council! So excite to watch, it is clear to see that Jason Kitcat is a man 10 years ahead of his time Green_Girl_1990

8:51pm Thu 6 Feb 14

HJarrs says...

BornInBrighton1968 wrote:
HJarrs wrote:
BornInBrighton1968 wrote:
Sorry, meant to do the above as a quote; copy-and-pasted from a post that she made on another story, for your amusement
Hmmmm, I wonder if you just forgot the right account to post on.
God, you are desperate aren't you?
Nope, but you are struggling!
[quote][p][bold]BornInBrighton1968[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]HJarrs[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BornInBrighton1968[/bold] wrote: Sorry, meant to do the above as a quote; copy-and-pasted from a post that she made on another story, for your amusement[/p][/quote]Hmmmm, I wonder if you just forgot the right account to post on.[/p][/quote]God, you are desperate aren't you?[/p][/quote]Nope, but you are struggling! HJarrs

8:55pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Green_Girl_1990 says...

I find it extraordinaly hard to contain my excitement; this has been an absolutely stunning demonstration of force from the Green Council.

I am just so proud that Brighton elected a party that believes in social justice, ethicks, and 'fair play'. I can think of no other political party that wishes to see the end of class disparity, unfairness and privelidge

I have the feeling that we are going to 'wipe the floor' with Labour during the Eurp elections!
I find it extraordinaly hard to contain my excitement; this has been an absolutely stunning demonstration of force from the Green Council. I am just so proud that Brighton elected a party that believes in social justice, ethicks, and 'fair play'. I can think of no other political party that wishes to see the end of class disparity, unfairness and privelidge I have the feeling that we are going to 'wipe the floor' with Labour during the Eurp elections! Green_Girl_1990

8:59pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Green_Girl_1990 says...

Brighton Green students now meeting in the King And Queen pub near Victoria Gardens to celebrate our victory this evening. Should all be here by 9.30

Come over and say 'Hello'!
Brighton Green students now meeting in the King And Queen pub near Victoria Gardens to celebrate our victory this evening. Should all be here by 9.30 Come over and say 'Hello'! Green_Girl_1990

9:04pm Thu 6 Feb 14

HJarrs says...

YAWN!
YAWN! HJarrs

9:20pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Green_Girl_1990 says...

check out my green girl blog to see photo of me and alexa phillips in king and queen pub !

we are going to turn brighton Green!
check out my green girl blog to see photo of me and alexa phillips in king and queen pub ! we are going to turn brighton Green! Green_Girl_1990

11:06pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Valerie Paynter says...

Massive shame the weather so extreme it kept attendance rather low. There is now a second public meeting which hopefully allows those who could not come to the Argus event to attend the Brighton & Hove Independent one on Monday evening 7pm at the Brighton Hilton Metropole near the West Pier.
Massive shame the weather so extreme it kept attendance rather low. There is now a second public meeting which hopefully allows those who could not come to the Argus event to attend the Brighton & Hove Independent one on Monday evening 7pm at the Brighton Hilton Metropole near the West Pier. Valerie Paynter

11:06pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Green non council tax paying students telling local working people to cough up more money.
You couldn't make it up. So I pay £150 a month in council tax while the three students next door pay nothing, throw all their crap and furniture in the street and have it collected by the council at my expense, they keep working families and children up all night with their rowdy partying so the council has to pay for the environmental health team to make regular visits and take legal action against them and then the same students want us to pay more for local services. Children play gat politics.
Remember, it was working people like myself who refused to pay the poll tax and ended Thatcher's reign Jason. You could be next. We hold the financial power which outweighs political power so wrap yourself up in student support, the working population is revolting.
Green non council tax paying students telling local working people to cough up more money. You couldn't make it up. So I pay £150 a month in council tax while the three students next door pay nothing, throw all their crap and furniture in the street and have it collected by the council at my expense, they keep working families and children up all night with their rowdy partying so the council has to pay for the environmental health team to make regular visits and take legal action against them and then the same students want us to pay more for local services. Children play gat politics. Remember, it was working people like myself who refused to pay the poll tax and ended Thatcher's reign Jason. You could be next. We hold the financial power which outweighs political power so wrap yourself up in student support, the working population is revolting. Maxwell's Ghost

11:10pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Gribbet says...

Must have been really weird for those in attendance not being able vote each other's comments up or down.
Must have been really weird for those in attendance not being able vote each other's comments up or down. Gribbet

11:16pm Thu 6 Feb 14

the red head says...

Green_Girl_1990 wrote:
check out my green girl blog to see photo of me and alexa phillips in king and queen pub !

we are going to turn brighton Green!
This is just so wonderfully self explanatory of the joke that IS the Green Party. You actually couldn't make it up, lol.
[quote][p][bold]Green_Girl_1990[/bold] wrote: check out my green girl blog to see photo of me and alexa phillips in king and queen pub ! we are going to turn brighton Green![/p][/quote]This is just so wonderfully self explanatory of the joke that IS the Green Party. You actually couldn't make it up, lol. the red head

11:29pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Gribbet says...

HJarrs wrote:
BornInBrighton1968 wrote:
Sorry, meant to do the above as a quote; copy-and-pasted from a post that she made on another story, for your amusement
Hmmmm, I wonder if you just forgot the right account to post on.
I does look that way doesn't it.
[quote][p][bold]HJarrs[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BornInBrighton1968[/bold] wrote: Sorry, meant to do the above as a quote; copy-and-pasted from a post that she made on another story, for your amusement[/p][/quote]Hmmmm, I wonder if you just forgot the right account to post on.[/p][/quote]I does look that way doesn't it. Gribbet

7:20am Fri 7 Feb 14

sasquatch2202 says...

Green_Girl_1990 wrote:
check out my green girl blog to see photo of me and alexa phillips in king and queen pub !

we are going to turn brighton Green!
Green girl. Thank you for your posts. Everyone of them is another nail in the green party coffin. You are PRICELESS. even H Jarrs who I believe may have half a brain, must cringe every time you post. Come on H tell the truth for once I dare you!
[quote][p][bold]Green_Girl_1990[/bold] wrote: check out my green girl blog to see photo of me and alexa phillips in king and queen pub ! we are going to turn brighton Green![/p][/quote]Green girl. Thank you for your posts. Everyone of them is another nail in the green party coffin. You are PRICELESS. even H Jarrs who I believe may have half a brain, must cringe every time you post. Come on H tell the truth for once I dare you! sasquatch2202

10:36am Fri 7 Feb 14

Bugzy84 says...

Green_Girl_1990 wrote:
I find it extraordinaly hard to contain my excitement; this has been an absolutely stunning demonstration of force from the Green Council.

I am just so proud that Brighton elected a party that believes in social justice, ethicks, and 'fair play'. I can think of no other political party that wishes to see the end of class disparity, unfairness and privelidge

I have the feeling that we are going to 'wipe the floor' with Labour during the Eurp elections!
Unless you have not been to University? then those people can't have a say, is that not what you said in the other post if I'm correct, nice to know fascism did not die out with Stalin.
And I watched most of that debate online, Kitkat and the rest were mostly just rude to people that did not agree with them and nothing new came out from what has already been reported.
This was nowhere near a victory for any of them, especially Kitkat.
Did laugh at Torie boy pretty much getting boo'ed out of the debate tho.
[quote][p][bold]Green_Girl_1990[/bold] wrote: I find it extraordinaly hard to contain my excitement; this has been an absolutely stunning demonstration of force from the Green Council. I am just so proud that Brighton elected a party that believes in social justice, ethicks, and 'fair play'. I can think of no other political party that wishes to see the end of class disparity, unfairness and privelidge I have the feeling that we are going to 'wipe the floor' with Labour during the Eurp elections![/p][/quote]Unless you have not been to University? then those people can't have a say, is that not what you said in the other post if I'm correct, nice to know fascism did not die out with Stalin. And I watched most of that debate online, Kitkat and the rest were mostly just rude to people that did not agree with them and nothing new came out from what has already been reported. This was nowhere near a victory for any of them, especially Kitkat. Did laugh at Torie boy pretty much getting boo'ed out of the debate tho. Bugzy84

10:42am Fri 7 Feb 14

Martin999 says...

Green girl, I wouldn't vote for any one that is unable to spell the word ethics.
Green girl, I wouldn't vote for any one that is unable to spell the word ethics. Martin999

11:04am Fri 7 Feb 14

Martin999 says...

Green girl, how on earth can you claim this was a victory for the Greens? Are you sure you were there?
Green girl, how on earth can you claim this was a victory for the Greens? Are you sure you were there? Martin999

11:11am Fri 7 Feb 14

Gribbet says...

@BornInBrighton1968, your Green_Girl creation/character/a
lias/alter-ego is starting to make a lot of people look a bit daft.
@BornInBrighton1968, your Green_Girl creation/character/a lias/alter-ego is starting to make a lot of people look a bit daft. Gribbet

11:52am Fri 7 Feb 14

Richada says...

Green_Girl_1990 wrote:
I find it extraordinaly hard to contain my excitement; this has been an absolutely stunning demonstration of force from the Green Council.

I am just so proud that Brighton elected a party that believes in social justice, ethicks, and 'fair play'. I can think of no other political party that wishes to see the end of class disparity, unfairness and privelidge

I have the feeling that we are going to 'wipe the floor' with Labour during the Eurp elections!
What it elected and what it got turned out to be two very different things.
[quote][p][bold]Green_Girl_1990[/bold] wrote: I find it extraordinaly hard to contain my excitement; this has been an absolutely stunning demonstration of force from the Green Council. I am just so proud that Brighton elected a party that believes in social justice, ethicks, and 'fair play'. I can think of no other political party that wishes to see the end of class disparity, unfairness and privelidge I have the feeling that we are going to 'wipe the floor' with Labour during the Eurp elections![/p][/quote]What it elected and what it got turned out to be two very different things. Richada

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