The ArgusThe Argus Council Tax Debate: Political columnist Tim Ridgway's view (From The Argus)

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The Argus Council Tax Debate: Political columnist Tim Ridgway's view

The Argus: The Argus Council Tax Debate: Political columnist Tim Ridgway's view The Argus Council Tax Debate: Political columnist Tim Ridgway's view

High winds, torrential downpours and heavy clouds – the stage was set for a political showdown which could shape Brighton and Hove for years to come.

It wasn’t quite political Armageddon.

But the 200-strong crowd who battled the Biblical conditions to attend witnessed a battle of strong wills from headstrong individuals who refused to budge on their council tax stance.

In the centre of it all was the council leader Jason Kitcat.


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Crisp white shirt, no tie, confident – opening up the evening, he eloquently described why the Greens were right in asking for £5 more a month from the taxpayer.

He claimed, without it, the council would be left to crumble under the weight of the government’s spending crackdown.

Even if this meant the council would have to spend £230,000 on a referendum.

Stage right was Conservative group leader Geoffrey Theobald dressed appropriately in blue.

“I can shout louder than you sir,” he exclaimed as he mapped out why he felt the council had not found enough savings yet from its vast budget.

A freeze in the rates, he claimed, is the only fair option for hard-up households.

On the left hand side was Labour group leader Warren Morgan, looking very New Labour in a dashing purple tie.

Two per cent is plenty, he affirmed, going on to describe why the Greens had fallen for a Tory-government gimmick to go for a city-wide vote which is deemed to fail.

The government, cycle lanes, the great “non-existent” seafront tower – all were blamed for the dire financial spending situation facing the council.

One resident claiming that all three participants were like “weasels scrapping in a sack” was a little unflattering.

They were not weasels, they were three cockerels strutting around the farmyard weighing up one another.

In just a few days, the eyeing up will finish and the fighting will begin.

It will not be pretty. But at the end there will only be one winner.

And who it is, debates like this will go a long way to deciding.

Comments (4)

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5:57pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Valerie Paynter says...

They never cut loose from the politically vacuous patter somehow; do they. What did Theobald and Morgan SPECIFY their parties wanted to do instead - apart from the tax rise positions.

They must know what they would cut over and above what the Greens will. So why the cowardice in refusing to spell it out?

Hopefully the mtg on Monday will get it out of them!
They never cut loose from the politically vacuous patter somehow; do they. What did Theobald and Morgan SPECIFY their parties wanted to do instead - apart from the tax rise positions. They must know what they would cut over and above what the Greens will. So why the cowardice in refusing to spell it out? Hopefully the mtg on Monday will get it out of them! Valerie Paynter
  • Score: 2

6:29pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Warren Morgan says...

I will endeavour to find a Nye Bevan tie (in the style of Cllr Janio's Ronald Reagan tie) for my next appearance, as clearly these things are significant...
I will endeavour to find a Nye Bevan tie (in the style of Cllr Janio's Ronald Reagan tie) for my next appearance, as clearly these things are significant... Warren Morgan
  • Score: 2

7:49pm Fri 7 Feb 14

ghost bus driver says...

Warren Morgan wrote:
I will endeavour to find a Nye Bevan tie (in the style of Cllr Janio's Ronald Reagan tie) for my next appearance, as clearly these things are significant...
Maybe you should go for one of these Warren

http://sas.guidespot
.com/bundles/guides_
1p/assets/616123638.
fill(150x150).jpg
[quote][p][bold]Warren Morgan[/bold] wrote: I will endeavour to find a Nye Bevan tie (in the style of Cllr Janio's Ronald Reagan tie) for my next appearance, as clearly these things are significant...[/p][/quote]Maybe you should go for one of these Warren http://sas.guidespot .com/bundles/guides_ 1p/assets/616123638. fill(150x150).jpg ghost bus driver
  • Score: 0

8:00pm Fri 7 Feb 14

HJarrs says...

Warren Morgan wrote:
I will endeavour to find a Nye Bevan tie (in the style of Cllr Janio's Ronald Reagan tie) for my next appearance, as clearly these things are significant...
Nye Bevin must be turning in his grave Warren.
[quote][p][bold]Warren Morgan[/bold] wrote: I will endeavour to find a Nye Bevan tie (in the style of Cllr Janio's Ronald Reagan tie) for my next appearance, as clearly these things are significant...[/p][/quote]Nye Bevin must be turning in his grave Warren. HJarrs
  • Score: 0

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