Wednesday, 25 February 2009


I predicted when I started my series on Thanet Council's Council Tax whopping 3.99% increase that

"I think we’ll find it is one of the biggest increases in the country"

local Tories have argued against this. Now we have the facts.

Today the well respected Local Government Association which Thanet Council is a member of, confirms that Thanet's increase is very high. In a survey of 300 English Councils they report:

"The Local Government Association, has today revised its prediction for council tax rises for this year to 3% as local authorities finalise their budgets - the lowest rise in over a decade."

Yet Thanet Council is increasing by 3.99%!

A massive 33% more than the average.

Whilst the majority of people in England are going to have an increase BELOW inflation at 3.1% to help them in these difficult economic times, Thanet will hit people hard when they are hurting with an ABOVE inflation increase for the fifth year in a row. Why?

Here are the local Tories' arguments:

1. It's all central government's fault?

Hundreds of other Councils in England have lower increases, why can't Thanet do what they can, we're not living in a different country!

2. There are Councils with bigger increases.

Yes, I have found 6 so far all Conservative. This is a complacent attitude, Thanet is in a relegation place in the league tables. Even mediocrity is too hard for local Tories to achieve.

3. Er, let's change the subject please. Can we move on.

UPDATE 25.2.09 19.50
Inflation is only 2% so Thanet's increase is double inflation. Click here and see 2 more Councils with lower increases.


  1. This is unacceptable - a bad move from the tory boys. Let's face it if this is an example of tory leadership, I would sooner not vote at all.

  2. The plain truth is that the elected officers of Thanet have no more say in what goes on in Thanet than a rotten dingos kidney, Thanet Council is run for and by the employees, the unelected officers of Thanet have been allowed to run a mock for years, due entirely to a weak and spineless leadership, the answer is in the hands of the electorate vote in someone with backbone to take on and remove the unelected Mafia that is running Thanet District Council.

  3. It is for reasons like this that I feel a directly elected mayor might put a bit of direct control in the hands of those that vote and scare those that get elected into acting on what the people actually want/need.

  4. Anon 15.16 I disagree, I am aware of officers giving different advice to members, but then faithfully following the Cabinet's instructions even where they thought this may not be the best course of actions. There may be the odd rogue officer, but I have not seen them yet.
    Matt B I'll write something more on this sometime, in the meantime here's an example of where 170 councils were better than Thanet
    and they almost all will have had lower increases than Thanet. I think there is a connection.

  5. BBC News this morning confirmed that the average coucil tax increase throughout the country is 3%. So what are we paying the extra for in Thanet? - the price of cement must have risen!