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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Labour-run Ealing Council introduce a "Tax on the Poor"

At last night's main Council meeting where a lot of the important Council decisions are taken, the Labour party introduced a local Council Tax support scheme which means that many of Ealing's poorest residents will be taxed.

Lib Dem Councillor Jon Ball spoke about the matter and said some of the problems with the scheme are:
Councillor Jon Ball
  • It essentially takes away any real chance of residents to get claims for support backdated so the poor will get poorer
  • The consultation only had a response rate of less than half a percent
  • The Council has turned down about £600,000 of money from the government by the way it was introducing the scheme
The scheme is a real blow to tens of thousands of vulnerable residents in Ealing when the Labour-run Council is spending money on vanity projects like a £5 million car park. The Council is meant to prioritise helping vulnerable residents, but here Ealing Council has decided not to.

Ealing Council had money allocated so that they could avoid the hardship that now will be caused to many of Ealing's residents and chose not to use it to help these vulnerable residents. Perhaps they want to use it to build another car park that is not needed?

Other issues that came up at the meeting included:
  1. I handed in a petition, collected in Perivale, to change the weekend parking times so that local businesses can be helped
  2.  Liberal Democrat Councillor Nigel Bakhai raised a good question about Council repairs to estate buildings. One example Nigel quoted involved the delaying of Council repairs to security doors as the building is due to be replaced in a number of years. Residents NOW deserve some security. I raised this issue with the Chief Executive of Ealing Council today.
  3. When a member of the public raised the issue of poor street cleaning and performance by Enterprise the Labour Councillor responsible for this area said: "That's how it worked out" and "It's okay," making excuses about the current poor performance. Liberal Democrats want to see tougher action to ensure that Enterprise perform.
  4. A motion was listed on the agenda which criticised the Conservative party Leader. In their party there certainly has been a lot of problems over the past year: such as the expulsion of one Conservative Councillor; one Conservative councillor is said to have created a false identity on a website forum; and walking out of an important planning committee meeting.
  5. A Liberal Democrat proposal raised by Councillor Andrew Steed, to freeze Council Tax for the next year, was greeted warmly by the Council. The Council will formally set its Council Tax early next year. 
  6. A motion about protecting Acton Fire Station which is on a list of fire stations which the Mayor of London might shut. We set up a petition in November where we collected signatures in Acton. Check out and sign our online petition

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