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The Argus Council Tax Debate: The people have their say
12:00pm Friday 7th February 2014 in News
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