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Council Tax (Essex)

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2003

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7.27 pm

This is an unusual petition, in so far as it is the product of the work of one man in my constituency, Mr. Probert, who was not involved with any political party. He was so incensed at the size of his council tax bill that he decided to organise a petition among neighbours and acquaintances. To sum up how Mr. Probert feels, I cite a letter that he sent to the Deputy Prime Minister, in which he complains about the victimisation of marry ordinary people in the south in order to fund high-spending, generally Labour councils elsewhere. Mr. Probert was struck by the situation for pensioners, who will be particularly hard hit. Some 420 people signed the petition, which represents a considerable proportion of the population for whom Mr. Probert speaks.

The petition reads as follows:

To the House of Commons

The Petition of the electors within the parliamentary constituency of Brentwood and Ongar, and of nearby district councils

Declares that the local government grant to Essex is unfair and has directly caused an unacceptable increase in our council tax.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons re-examine the way in which the formula distributes the grant to councils, with the aim of finding a fairer way.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

To lie upon the Table.