March 7th, 2014 by Group Office
Liberal Democrats have criticised red tape at Labour-run Redcar & Cleveland Council today after the Friends of Zetland Park were forced to cancel their popular family fun day.
The Fun Day has been running for over 10 years and provides excellent free family entertainment. Over 4000 people attended last year and the event has raised over £100,000 for the park over the last ten years
But this year the hard-working volunteers on the organising committee say that Council red tape and obstruction has forced them to abandon this year’s plans.
The group started planning the event in October 2013. But after four months of working to comply with more and more ridiculous and poorly thought out conditions from five different Council teams, they decided enough was enough.
Zetland ward Lib Dem Councillor Ron Harrison yesterday quizzed the Labour Cabinet Member responsible about why the Council is being so obstructive. She replied that she thought it was a shame that the event had been cancelled, but did not offer to simplify the system.
“Shaping Our Future” is supposed to be a Council initiative to enable community groups to organise things for themselves, but it appears to be failing.
Cllr Ron Harrison said:
“This is a huge blow to Redcar and the borough as a whole. The community feels let down and unsupported by the Labour Council.
“The Council really needs to get to grips with this before the scenario is repeated and it destroys the goodwill of more of our hard-working, voluntary groups.”
March 6th, 2014 by Group Office
Labour bosses at Redcar & Cleveland Council today voted to increase Council Tax by nearly 2%, with the help of some Independent councillors. This is despite being offered a grant of over £1 million from the Government in exchange for keeping Council Tax frozen.
The Labour administration is increasing Council Tax for residents by 1.994%, the highest rise they can get away with without triggering a referendum of local people. Liberal Democrats think this is treating people with contempt, and that the Council should have gone to a referendum and let the people decide.
This follows hot on the heels of Labour’s 3.5% rise in 2012, the highest in the country.
Lib Dems think the Council should have taken the grant, which is equivalent to a 1% Council Tax increase, and frozen Council Tax. Savings could have been made by cutting the use of consultants in the Council, cutting the communications budget, use of reserves and a real war on waste.
Lib Dem Councillor Josh Mason proposed an amendment at Council today calling for a Council Tax freeze, saying:
“This is a double whammy from Labour against the people of Redcar and Cleveland borough.
“Not only has Labour lost the borough over £1 million in grant, it is also asking the residents to stump up an extra £1.5 million because of the Council Tax rise.
“Labour is taking with one hand and taking with the other!
“It’s time hard-working residents in our borough had a break.”
March 6th, 2014 by Group Office
Liberal Democrats on Redcar & Cleveland Council are urging the Labour bosses to accept a grant of over £1 million from the Government in exchange for keeping Council Tax frozen.
The Labour administration looks set to increase Council Tax for residents by 1.994%, the highest rise they can get away with without triggering a referendum of local people.
Lib Dems think the Council should take the grant, which is equivalent to a 1% Council Tax increase, and freeze Council Tax. Savings could be made by cutting the use of consultants in the Council, cutting the communications budget, use of reserves and a real war on waste.
Lib Dem Group Leader Glyn Nightingale said:
“There is no justification for putting Council Tax up when the Government is offering over £1 million to freeze it.
“In 2012 Labour gave Redcar & Cleveland the biggest Council Tax increase in the country. It’s time hard-working residents in our borough had a break.
“Ed Miliband talks about tackling the cost of living, so let’s see Labour practise what their Leader preaches.”
February 24th, 2014 by Group Office
Liberal Democrat Councillors Irene Curr and Josie Crawford have donated £750 from their ward budget to Redcar Library, to pay for new childrens’ books.
Cllr Josie Crawford said:
“Redcar Library is a very important part of our community. It has a warm and friendly atmosphere. I am delighted to have been able to help improve the range of books on offer to our young people.”
February 17th, 2014 by Group Office
Redcar’s Liberal Democrat MP Ian Swales has condemned Redcar and Cleveland Council’s failure to distribute government resources to those most in need.
From April 2013, administration of the Discretionary Social Fund was handed from the Department for Work and Pensions to local authorities.
Around £631,000 was made available to Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council to distribute amongst residents most in need of support.
After three quarters of the year, only £90,000 has been allocated by the Council. This evidence comes to light only weeks after it was revealed that the Labour Council has also considerably under spent their allocation of Discretionary Housing Payment.
Ian Swales MP commented:
“It’s appalling that this Labour council seems to be playing politics with something so important.
“The Coalition Government is providing support that the Council is not distributing.
“This is not the first case of Labour failing to distribute resources given by the Government for those in most need. But this is unbelievable! They are now actively making life harder for those least able to cope.”
January 28th, 2014 by Group Office
Chris Abbott being congratulated by Ian Swales MP and the Redcar Constituency Liberal Democrats with the 1st and 300th editions of his newsletter
Long-time community campaigner and Redcar Councillor Chris Abbott is today celebrating the publication of the 300th edition of his Newcomen Ward “Focus”.
The unbroken series of newsletters began in October 1984, raising issues of council house rent, fly-tipping and asbestos. The “Focus” newsletter has always been about community politics and getting things done for local people issue number one carried the tag line: “It’s often the little things that really matter to people”. Thirty years later, Cllr Chris Abbott continues to work by this premise.
Commenting, Chris Abbott said:
“We have come a long way since the early days when we produced Focus on a typewriter, cut and paste headlines with Letraset and hand drawn graphics.
“Although we now have good quality printing facilities, all the work is still produced and distributed by volunteers at no cost to residents.
“It’s been a pleasure to support the local community these past thirty years and I look forward to many more.”
Liberal Democrat MP for the Redcar Constituency, Ian Swales commented:
“This is an incredible achievement for Chris Abbott.
“It goes to prove that Liberal Democrats are passionate about our local area and work all year round for the benefit of communities.”