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Newcastle does have too many councillors; VOICE OF THE NORTH.

I WELCOME the admission from the chairman of the Liberal Democrat Group (Voice of the North, 9 October) that Newcastle has too many councillors.

He argues that councillors' allowances were reduced by Lib Dems. However, for the benefit of your readers, the basic allowance for councillors has risen by almost 15% since Lib Dems came to power in 2004.

I note the Lib Dem chairman failed to explain why councillors deserve a 2.25% increase when council workers were awarded no more than 1.5%. Local Conservatives are demanding that Newcastle councillors' allowances are frozen in 2010.

He claims that council tax has been set using the retail price index at September. Residents can therefore assume a council tax reduction of at least 1.4% (the inflation rate was -1.4%in September 2009 ) next year.

Local Conservatives have been arguing for some time that council tax in Newcastle is far too high. We demonstrated in 2007 that Newcastle residents would be better off by pounds 200 per year if Conservatives ran the council. JASON SMITH, Chairman of Newcastle Conservatives and spokesman for Westerhope Ward, Benton House, Front Street, Four Lane Ends, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7UJ (office@newcastle-conservatives.co.uk)
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 21, 2009
Words:201
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