Ruffley Calls Urgent Meeting with Suffolk County Council Chief on Council Tax

Tuesday, 11 November, 2003

David Ruffley MP has called a high level meeting on the county's council tax in Suffolk. He will be meeting Mike More, Chief Executive of Suffolk County Council on Friday 14 November in David's office.

David said, 'I receive more letters in my postbag on council tax than on any other subject. Pensioners have been hit particularly hard at a time when the state pension has not kept pace with rises in pensioner expenditure. They are furious and they are right to feel this way.

Sadly, this meeting comes at a time when the Home Office is preparing its figures for next year's funding for Suffolk Police. Suffolk's residents should prepare themselves for more disappointing news when the majority of funding for crime reduction is given to cities rather than Shire counties like Suffolk. Recent figures that I have unearthed show that Suffolk Police really does need an increase in funding, approximately 7% to maintain its present service and worryingly for every 1% increase in police funding, the precept must increase by 3.5%. It appears that more money will be given to Labour heartlands in the North whilst we will witness more Council tax rises and more crime.

David has made his concerns known at both county and national level and lobbied on behalf of his constituents to try to ensure that in future years they will not be hit so hard.

I will be impressing upon Mike More at my meeting on Friday the need to keep the County Council's tax at an affordable level.'