From the outset Geoffrey Theobald has pushed for a freeze on the council tax rate – and that did not change last night.
Although he had to leave the debate early for a prior engagement, he used his time wisely to get his party’s point across.
He said: “We are the one party that has been absolutely consistent all the way through. And we will vote accordingly.
“The cost of the referendum, the cost of the re-billing and the worry it would cause is something I couldn’t possibly support.”
In his opening address he also made reference to an independent report which described in-house council care services as being “expensive” compared to neighbouring authorities.
He told the floor the council could get away without having to reduce their services by simply making them more efficient.
He said: “Quite frankly the point I’m really trying to make is that our services are expensive.
“They don’t need to be as expensive as they are.”
Dressed in a navy blue suit and blue tie, he attacked the way the Greens had gone about putting their budget proposal together.
He said: “The Greens have done this the wrong way round.
“They have plucked the figure of 4.75% out the air.
“That is to keep the Green Party united and to stop members voting against councillor Kitcat or the budget.
“They are then deciding how they are going to spend it. They are doing it the wrong way round.”
He also took aim at Labour, accusing them of not making their position clear.
Arguing nobody in the city wanted a rise, he said: “There is no appetite for a rise.
“The Argus referendum is currently running at more than three to one and I have no doubt that an official referendum would go the same way.”
He added: “The referendum would be costly and it would not give residents the option of a council tax freeze.
“So they won’t have the option.”
- 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