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Think before you cheer

February 28, 2014 12:51 PM
By Cllr Jack Cohen in Barnet Press

Barnet Liberal Democrats' budget will keep Council tax down and improve servicesSo the Conservatives will be proposing a 1% cut in Council Tax. Well I suggest readers think before they cheer. The Conservative Leader describes the cut as a gesture, but to my mind it smacks of a gimmick and it may turn out to be an expensive gimmick at that.

When a driver burst a tyre on a pothole in the road they can comfort themselves that they are 21 pence richer and as residents continue to pay hefty charges for parking them too can also take comfort.

Only this week an active local Residents Association in my Ward lobbied the council to clean their street properly, only to be told basically there is no more money left. And so it goes on. Already we can see the lack of maintenance of our parks, the reduction in the stock of books in our libraries, broken and unrepaired footways and rubbish strewn streets.

In short welcome to Ryanair Barnet. I think it's called the art of "pirate pricing". It's when you lure in the customer by offering a cheaper price but then trap them into paying higher prices. But of course Barnet being Barnet the Conservatives will not tell you that our Council Taxes are already more expensive here than in neighbouring Brent and Camden.

My advice is this. Judge Barnet Conservatives not on what they do before the elections but on their actions immediately after. For example the first act of the incoming Conservative administration four years ago was to award themselves a massive increase in their allowances.