Disabled resident’s ‘disgust’ at council tax rise

Steve Allen who has seen his council tax rise by 351.3%.
Steve Allen who has seen his council tax rise by 351.3%.

A concerned disabled resident has spoken out about the 351.3% increase to Colne’s council tax.

Steve Allen (60), of Burrell Avenue, has labelled the change implemented by the town council as “disgusting” - after his tax went up by £18.34 to £23.56 a year,

He feels that the decision will have a detrimental impact on residents, particularly those who are elderly or disabled, but Colne Town Council have argued that all money will be spent on services for the local community.

Mr Allen, who suffers with a variety of health issues, including heart problems, emphysema and diabetes, said: “£23.56 doesn’t seem a lot, but in this area there are a lot of disabled and elderly people on fixed incomes.

“This is way above the rate of inflation, and it is disgusting that it has gone up so much.

“I am one of those unfortunate people who has got a work’s pension, so that takes me over the limit of what government say I can earn - meaning I have to pay council tax. There are a lot of people like me in that situation.”

Responding, Coun. Dorothy Lord and Coun. David Clegg have said that this is the first time there has been an increase to council tax in Colne in six years.

They say the decision has been taken due to a cap on the borough council’s tax, and drastic government cuts.

Coun. Lord said: “We are having to take on services that the borough council can no longer afford.

“It’s a very hard decision, and it is something that is going on all over the country.

“There is a rise, but it is not a massive amount a week,

and it will go towards keeping services that otherwise might be lost.”

According to Coun. Clegg residents living in Band A or Band B properties in Colne, like Mr Allen, will have a council tax rise of 35p a week.

Money will be spent on facilities, such as Christmas decorations and lights, which otherwise would have been slashed, and on a community toilet scheme similar to the one in Nelson. Discussions are currently ongoing as to what other services Colne Town Council will be taking on.

Coun. Clegg said: “The Pendle Council budget is getting squeezed, and there is a lot of money that they are not getting from the government anymore. Different towns within Pendle have different requirements, they don’t all want the same things, so this means the town will get what it needs.”