Demand for a Fair Council Tax System

Demand for a Fairer Council Tax System

Council Tax is broken, with the poorest communities facing the heaviest tax burden.

As the Tory Government has cut central funding of local authorities it passes on the cost of essential services like social care, highways, public health, and refuse collection to local ratepayers through higher Council Tax Bills.

Here in County Durham, central government funding has been cut by over £250 million every year since 2010.  The County Council has attempted to protect key services, but it has still had to cut 3,000 jobs, local people who could have been in work.  Services have had to be cut but to make-up the shortfall in funding inevitably Council Tax has risen. This year, although the Government permitted local authorities to increase council tax by 4.9%  the Labour-led Council kept that increase to just 2.9%.

Labour-led County Durham still offers the council tax-reduction scheme which provides support to those households on the lowest incomes. However, it is unacceptable that a £150,000 value house in Framwellgate must pay as much council tax as a £1.5 million mansion in Surrey. That is a fault of the system not the local authority.

We need real change, not empty words from the government about levelling up and rebuilding Britain. We need a fairer system for paying for council services than what we have now.

If you agree with this please sign the petition below.

I agree we need a Fairer Council Tax System and Government Funding

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School Support Statement

Statement of support for School staff

City of Durham Labour Party Executive Officers express their full support to National Education Union (NEU), Unison, other Trade Union members and all local School staff and School Governors who on health and safety grounds consider the full re-opening of primary schools is not safe and puts pupils and staff at imminent risk which will inevitably lead to increased community transmission of Covid-19.

It is a failure of the Government’s handling of this crisis, including mishandling of test and trace which has led to this situation. Currently there is no safe alternative but to introduce remote learning for all pupils, except for vulnerable children and those of key workers.

County Durham has been moved into Tier 4, public health data demonstrates an increasing rate of infections which is higher than in some London Boroughs or the South-East where all schools have been ordered to close.

We join the NEU, Unison, GMB, ASCL, NAHT and other teaching unions in highlighting major concern at widespread school reopening, and support the roll-out of decent, online educational provision, as an emergency measure.

With reference to pledge number 7 made by the Leader of the Opposition during the leadership election last year, we ask that he, the Shadow Secretary of State for Education and the Shadow Health Secretary unequivocally support the action of the Trade Unions and all School staff.

The absolute priority right now must be reducing Covid case numbers, to ease the burden on hospitals and their workforce which are now feeling a monumental strain from this pandemic.  

The NEU have launched a petition which we recommend people sign at MAKE SCHOOLS SAFE AND PROTECT COMMUNITIES as well as sending messages of support to NEU Durham district secretaries and, and regional secretary

In a statement of further support, Sheila Williams, City of Durham Constituency Labour Party Chair, said “I offer my full support to local school staff who consider, due to the increasing transmission of the Covid-19 variant, that it is not safe to fully re-open schools.  This government has a responsibility for the safety of staff and pupils. To minimise further transmission, it must support the provision of remote teaching of pupils. This action will save lives and provide time for the vaccination of many more vulnerable people.”

We are a Party of Campaigners

The Labour Party is not backed by millionaires but is powered by thousands of volunteers who give their time freely in order to build a fairer society.  There are so many ways to campaign and there is no better time to start than right now.  We appreciate the effort any of our members can offer from 5 minutes a week sharing social media to those who deliver leaflets or work as canvassers.

If you would like to volunteer please email Chris Turner