Sunday, 22 January 2012

An Open Letter to Eric Pickles

Morally questionable?
Today Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary (and responsible for Local Government) has said that councillors have a 'moral duty' to sign up to the government's council tax freeze.

I am astounded Mr Pickles.

The last thing councillors from all parties need is to be told by you what our 'moral duties' are.

Believe me when I say that everytime we go around our wards we see families struggling to make ends meet.

The exact same families who depend on public services such as refuse collection, libraries or a benefit system which we all know are beginning to creak (and in some cases have disappeared completely).

The exact same families who are seeing their businesses failing or jobs in jeopardy whether in the private or public sector.

Councillors are well aware of their moral obligations.

Councils across the country and from all shades of the political spectrum, whether it be Labour Leicester or Tory Surrey, are agonising over whether to increase council tax.

We know key public services are becoming increasingly impossible to maintain but we also know the pain that raising council tax will cause.

I fully understand why some councils have chosen to turn you down on your council tax freeze subsidy because accepting it now is going to result in even greater cuts down the road.

Your cynical grant isn't protecting services Mr Pickles, and you know it, it is saving even worse problems up for a rainy day.

In North West Leicestershire I personally believe that times are too tough to consider raising council tax. Local people are suffering too much right now to increase charges.

But there will be a price to pay Mr Pickles. Public services cannot go on indefinitely whilst inflation is so high and our economy falters.

Ultimately Mr Pickles YOU have a moral responsibility to our public services and right now you are failing in it.

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