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Waltham Forest council is model of financial responsibility
9:57am Tuesday 11th March 2014 in Your Views
Sadly, Katy Andrews has mistaken dishonest political posturing for informed opinion (Guardian, March 6).
She made a number of crude and misguided assertions about waste and mismanagement at Waltham Forest council, but does not provide any evidence to back her claims.
The truth of the matter is that Waltham Forest council has proved itself a model of financial responsibility and has made savings of £65m since 2010 in response to vicious cuts in local authority budgets forced through by the Coalition Government, cuts which have hit inner city communities like Leyton hardest.
She ignores the fact that the current Labour council has done this while maintaining and improving the key frontline services on which local people depend. She also ignores the council’s massively successful investment in the regeneration of our high streets, in the transformation of our sport and leisure facilities, including Leyton Jubilee Park and the refurbished Leyton Leisure Lagoon.
These have been hugely popular and ensured that Leyton has a fitting Olympic legacy, that can be enjoyed by all its residents. It may be she hasn’t spent much time there and seen local families enjoying the fantastic, new facilities.
I make no judgement about Katy Andrews decision not to pay her council tax (that is for the courts), save that if she believes that each should pay according to her means, she would realise that only a small proportion of her council tax is spent on redevelopment. The majority of council tax paid by Waltham Forest residents helps directly fund valuable community services, including care, as well as other vital services to our most vulnerable residents.
Her muddle-headed thinking is typical of the Lib Dems both in government and locally in opposition. She seems to have conveniently forgotten that it is the Lib Dems in government that abolished council tax support for our most vulnerable residents, a decision taken by ministers in Whitehall and not at the town hall.
She makes no mention of the Lib Dem betrayal of the hopes and aspirations of local people: no mention of the abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance that supported young people into higher education; no mention of the vicious and ill-considered bedroom tax or the removal of the Disability Living Allowance from some of our most vulnerable residents. All of this at the same time that her colleagues in government have given millionaires a £40,000 tax break.
The Lib Dem’s betrayal of hard working families of fairness, decency nationally is mirrored by their refusal to support this Labour council as it supports our community through tough times, delivers on what really matters for local people and makes Leyton and Waltham Forest an even better place to live and work.
Dr Simon Miller, Leyton Labour
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