No plans to axe students’ exemption, say Brighton and Hove Greens

A council leader has blamed his head of finance for sparking fears student council tax discounts could be scrapped or cut.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s finance spokesman Leo Littman wrote to Government minister Eric Pickles calling for powers to cut or scrap the discounts for the city’s student and single households.

The news was revealed in the November 24 edition of The Argus.

But following the reports, the Green party issued a statement distancing itself from its own councillor’s proposal.

Council leader Jason Kitcat told The Argus yesterday (November 26): “It [the letter] was sent in error by Councillor Littman and should not have gone out. It is not something our administration is looking to do.”

Coun Littman, who is the party’s spokesman on finance and deputy chairman of the powerful policy and resources committee, was unavailable for comment.

Coun Kitcat added his administration had “no intention” of scrapping the discounts, a move which would have netted the Green-led local authority millions of pounds in extra revenue each year.

'Not party policy'

He said: “The letter does not represent the Green administration’s position or Green Party policy.”

The letter was sent to The Argus on Thursday, November 22 by the Green Party.

But Conservative councillor Geoffrey Theobald said: “If it is not their policy or intention to charge students council tax or reduce the single person discount then why write a letter to the Secretary of State asking for the power to make these changes?

“I don’t believe that such a senior member of the administration would send such a letter without the backing of his party.

“This just shows the level of disarray that the Green administration is in.”

Labour councillor Gill Mitchell said: “The Greens have made a clear decision to write and request these powers. They would have informed officers of that. They cannot now pretend as though they had nothing to do with this.”

About 57,000 properties in the city currently claim council tax exemption or discounts, including 4,500 student homes and 45,000 homes lived in by single occupants.

Student households do not pay council tax. Single occupants get 25% off.

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Comments (10)

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1:49pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Fight_Back says...

Kitcat is a liar !!!! The official Green press statement makes clear they don't to alter the student exemption ( although as Theobald says - why write the letter then ) BUT it only says the Green don't plan to scrap the single person discount. They have not denied wanting to lower the single person discount. Therefore they could reduce it to a 1% discount and still be telling the truth. Single people beware - the Greens want more of YOUR money !!!!!!!!!
Kitcat is a liar !!!! The official Green press statement makes clear they don't to alter the student exemption ( although as Theobald says - why write the letter then ) BUT it only says the Green don't plan to scrap the single person discount. They have not denied wanting to lower the single person discount. Therefore they could reduce it to a 1% discount and still be telling the truth. Single people beware - the Greens want more of YOUR money !!!!!!!!! Fight_Back

1:59pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Maxwell's Ghost says...

If the Greens have no intention to make students pay for the service, he should at least make a commitment to get Cityclean and Environmental Health manage the properties where ordinary, decent working people are being kept up all night and suffering filthy streets due to these non managed homes.
If he refuses to make this commitment I will be encouraging all those impacted by this group to stop oaying their council tax until we are called to court so we can hgihlight the lack of action by this council.
Jason, get out of your ivory tower and get into the communities and do something useful because so far you have only taken part on projects which are about you.
If the Greens have no intention to make students pay for the service, he should at least make a commitment to get Cityclean and Environmental Health manage the properties where ordinary, decent working people are being kept up all night and suffering filthy streets due to these non managed homes. If he refuses to make this commitment I will be encouraging all those impacted by this group to stop oaying their council tax until we are called to court so we can hgihlight the lack of action by this council. Jason, get out of your ivory tower and get into the communities and do something useful because so far you have only taken part on projects which are about you. Maxwell's Ghost

3:07pm Tue 27 Nov 12

NickBtn says...

looks like a U turn to me!

Yes, Maxwell's Ghost, there should be more funding for environmental health, particularly the noise team to work 24/7 not just Friday and Saturday nights.

This could be paid for from savings elsewhere - it's all a question of priorities. £1.5m has been allocated to put in an unenforceable large 20mph area. Just focus this on schools etc, save £1m and put this to noise team etc. Easy....
looks like a U turn to me! Yes, Maxwell's Ghost, there should be more funding for environmental health, particularly the noise team to work 24/7 not just Friday and Saturday nights. This could be paid for from savings elsewhere - it's all a question of priorities. £1.5m has been allocated to put in an unenforceable large 20mph area. Just focus this on schools etc, save £1m and put this to noise team etc. Easy.... NickBtn

3:29pm Tue 27 Nov 12

chilliman says...

Running scared they might frighten their voters away.
Running scared they might frighten their voters away. chilliman

3:35pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Martha Gunn says...

Another episode in the shambles and chaos that is the Green Party administration in Brighton. Surely time now for the Green Party nationally to step in and do something about this bunch of clowns. There are thousands of Green Party activists all over the country who came to Brighton to help get this lot elected. They are now furious about the story of incompetence that has ensued.
Another episode in the shambles and chaos that is the Green Party administration in Brighton. Surely time now for the Green Party nationally to step in and do something about this bunch of clowns. There are thousands of Green Party activists all over the country who came to Brighton to help get this lot elected. They are now furious about the story of incompetence that has ensued. Martha Gunn

3:41pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Morpheus says...

I could perhaps understand an error in posting a letter to the wrong person, but writing a letter in error about a policy that does not exist is difficult to accept. The Greens need to get their act together.
I could perhaps understand an error in posting a letter to the wrong person, but writing a letter in error about a policy that does not exist is difficult to accept. The Greens need to get their act together. Morpheus

4:00pm Tue 27 Nov 12

colvey says...

All politicians lie
All politicians lie colvey

7:30pm Tue 27 Nov 12

fredflintstone1 says...

So we're expected to believe that Cllr Littman, on his own initiative, as the party's finance spokesman, wrote to the government seeking new powers?

Either this man is deluded, and should be removed from his post and the party forthwith, being no longer fit to hold office, or we're not being told the truth about this matter.

So which is it? And can we expect to see Cllr Littman hauled up in front of another Green party court, like Cllr Summers before him, for breaking Green Party policy?
So we're expected to believe that Cllr Littman, on his own initiative, as the party's finance spokesman, wrote to the government seeking new powers? Either this man is deluded, and should be removed from his post and the party forthwith, being no longer fit to hold office, or we're not being told the truth about this matter. So which is it? And can we expect to see Cllr Littman hauled up in front of another Green party court, like Cllr Summers before him, for breaking Green Party policy? fredflintstone1

8:06pm Tue 27 Nov 12

funkyyoyo says...

Fight_Back wrote:
Kitcat is a liar !!!! The official Green press statement makes clear they don't to alter the student exemption ( although as Theobald says - why write the letter then ) BUT it only says the Green don't plan to scrap the single person discount. They have not denied wanting to lower the single person discount. Therefore they could reduce it to a 1% discount and still be telling the truth. Single people beware - the Greens want more of YOUR money !!!!!!!!!
its not rhe first time that muppets lied! he lied to me about parking regulations,until i did a foi request and that shut the muppet up!!!
[quote][p][bold]Fight_Back[/bold] wrote: Kitcat is a liar !!!! The official Green press statement makes clear they don't to alter the student exemption ( although as Theobald says - why write the letter then ) BUT it only says the Green don't plan to scrap the single person discount. They have not denied wanting to lower the single person discount. Therefore they could reduce it to a 1% discount and still be telling the truth. Single people beware - the Greens want more of YOUR money !!!!!!!!![/p][/quote]its not rhe first time that muppets lied! he lied to me about parking regulations,until i did a foi request and that shut the muppet up!!! funkyyoyo

9:36pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Vigilia says...

Perhaps Councillor Littman could devote his attention to charging a realistic rent at the Horsdean Travellers Transit Site and save us all the £600 a day we are having to find to fund it.
Perhaps Councillor Littman could devote his attention to charging a realistic rent at the Horsdean Travellers Transit Site and save us all the £600 a day we are having to find to fund it. Vigilia

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