For a number of years now large numbers of people in Whitwick and Thringstone have found it difficult to make ends meet.
Countless local people have seen wages stagnate, taxes increase and welfare benefits subject to real term cuts.
It is for that reason that I strongly believe council tax, the one form of taxation which Councillors have control over, must be frozen.
Since becoming a District and Parish Councillor I have consistently spoken and voted against increasing council tax. I would say unequivocally that is the right thing to do.
I am delighted that once again this year Labour controlled Whitwick Parish Council, of which I am a member, have frozen their portion of your council tax.
But now more than ever while our economy is in it's current parlous state, and more importantly while people continue to struggle, Councils must continue to freeze council tax. Sadly, however, you are not always given the full picture.
The Conservative Party will always try to tell you they are the party of low taxation, but many of you will be unaware that the Tory administration at Leicestershire County Council have already planned to increase your council tax by 1.5% in each of the next 3 years.
Using the County Council's own figures* an average householder will see their council tax increase by around £50.00 over the next three years.
At the same time the Conservative administration at County Hall have built up reserves of around £100 million.
Now, I would never say that council tax should be frozen indefinitely. There may come a time when council services are so stretched that an increase is the only option.
But whilst ordinary people continue to struggle and reserves are large that time is not now.
*http://www.leics.gov.uk/lcc_budget_2013-14_l1094.pdf - based and rounded on a Band D property