Tensions ran high at The Argus Council Tax Debate at Hove Town Hall as Brighton and Hove residents finally had their say on the proposed 4.75% council tax rise.
How divisive the issue is became apparent last night.
Retired teacher Val Knight, 64, from Springfield Road in Brighton said: “I think Jason Kitcat came across genuine, although perhaps a little misguided. He has come up with a solution that none of the others are willing to do.
“I will be voting yes in the referendum.”
Lee Wares, 47, from Brighton said the evening started as a debate about a council tax rise, but ended as a party political spat.
He added: “I had a Conservative view and I still have a Conservative view.”
Councillor Anne Pissaridou, Labour and Co-operative Member for Wish Ward, said the people she represents cannot afford to pay an extra £6. She said the Green party just “doesn’t understand”.
Chris Henry, 41, Hove was not impressed with the Greens.
He said: “We haven’t been able to trust them about anything – apprenticeships, schools, traffic safety, car parking – so how can we trust what they say about the budget?”
Roderick Henderson, a 42-year-old lawyer from Hove said there was too much “political posturing” and little specific detail.
But he felt the debate was very informative. He said: “It’s very important that politics is done in the open and face to face with the people.
“Having to stand up and say what you’ve done makes it real.”
He added: “Labour doesn’t have specific alternative plans so I will vote for the rise, but with reservations.”
Nigel Furness, 64, from Cambridge Road in Hove, a retired physiotherapist, said: “I think there are means of saving money without cutting services. I think that Labour have it with their 2% rise.”
Sue Teddern, 59, from Hove said: “I don’t think you are going to find anyone in this room whose views were changed by a discussion like this.”
But Chris Harvey-Jones, 71, from Preston Circus, began the evening agreeing with the Conservatives’ proposed freeze on council tax, but ended siding with the Labour leader Warren Morgan.
He said: “The penny dropped and I realised that we will get more with a 2% rise.”
Volunteer Katie Lord, 48, from Baden Road in Brighton, said the future was “frightening”.
She said: “I have learning difficulties and epilepsy, and I'm terrified.”
- The Argus Council Tax Debate: Green leader Jason Kitcat responds
- The Argus Council Tax Debate: Labour leader Warren Morgan responds
- The Argus Council Tax Debate: Conservative leader Geoffrey Theobald responds
- The Argus Council Tax Debate: Political columnist Tim Ridgway's view
- The Argus Council Tax Debate: The people have their say