We asked Argus readers to make their voices heard on the council tax debate and you have responded in your droves.
The Argus received dozens more forms yesterday as the council tax conversation hots up.
Key political figures, grassroots representative and ordinary residents are all expected to attend The Argus Council Tax Debate in Hove Town Hall at 7pm tomorrow.
With all three parties having conflicting proposals for the upcoming budget, the debate between council leader Jason Kitcat, Conservative leader Geoffrey Theobald and Labour leader Warren Morgan is sure to be fiercely contested.
Yesterday, the Department for Communities and Local Government announced that a new public record of how councillors vote on their budget will be introduced.
New regulations put before Parliament require councils to publish, as a matter of record, how each councillor votes on any budget decisions including council tax changes.
The Argus has been praised for taking the initiative in holding a public debate on the budget ahead of |two crunch council meetings later this month.
Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby said: “Politicians are elected to make decisions on behalf of the people’s who live in the city and The Argus does a good job making that process more transparent.”
Chris Cooke, chair of St James’s Community Action Group, said: It’s really important for Joe Public to have his say.”
With the Green administration proposing a 4.75% rise, Labour a 2% rise and Conservatives advocating a freeze, figures across the city have been having their say.
Carol Lynn from Coldean Residents Association said: “I am not happy with the 4.75% increase. It is double what the Government is saying.”
Chris Todd of Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth said he hoped that the pursuit of budget savings would not stop the council from investing in projects that reduce long-term costs.
He said: “They might be cycle lanes, walking routes or access to green space, investments that will improve people’s health and in the end reduce the burden on the NHS which still comes out of the public purse.”
Valerie Paynter from Save Hove said: “I think that everyone will say the Greens are out of their mind and will want to keep it at a 2% increase or less.”
Selma Montford, from the Brighton Society, said the rise could be “crippling” for some.
Emma McGarthy was out and about speaking to city residents on the street yesterday.
Danielle Sharp, 24, said: “Why should we pay more tax when we had to go three weeks without having the bins collected?”
Brian Godfrey, 64, added: “Where is the council money going?
“There’s lots of things that could be done and aren’t being done.”
To send your questions for The Argus debate email email@example.com or post them to Neil Vowles, Argus House, Crowhurst Road, Brighton BN1 8AR.
Please include your name, address, which leader your question is addressed to, or all three.