Bolton only authority in Greater Manchester to reject government cash in favour of raising council tax

The Bolton News: Bolton Town Hall Bolton Town Hall

ALL nine of the other 10 Greater Manchester boroughs have accepted extra government cash so they can freeze council tax — which Bolton Council refused in favour of a 1.94 per cent rise.

Town hall bosses in Wigan, Bury, Rochdale, Oldham, Manchester, Salford, Trafford, Tameside and Stockport opted to freeze rates by capitalising on the £550 million government fund.

Across the UK, 231 local authorities have taken up the offer from Whitehall, according to figures released on March 2.

Eight of the nine Greater Manchester councils to accept government help in imposing a freeze are Labour-run, with Trafford the exception.

Now, Cllr Andy Morgan, Conservative member for Hulton, has questioned whether the controlling Labour group had refused the help to avoid endorsing a coalition government policy.

Leader Cllr Cliff Morris said this was untrue, and that the freeze would have given “false hope” to people in Bolton.

Cllr Morgan said: “We have a £1.6 million surplus and yet rates are going up and we have turned down government help for two years running to freeze council tax.

“The Labour group keep going on about the cost of living crisis and yet they increase rates.

"It almost seems like they want to make it tougher for the people of Bolton and then blame it on government cuts. We don’t understand what other reason there could be.


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“Cllr Morris talks about the fund only being guaranteed for a couple of years, but why are the other authorities in Greater Manchester accepting it?”

Cllr Morris said his approach had protected Bolton ratepayers from £4 million worth of additional cuts.

He added: “If the government was truly serious about this they would have made the money part of our base budget so we can plan ahead for longer than two years.”

Comments (15)

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1:38pm Thu 6 Mar 14

steveG says...

Too many people in local authorities are receiv
Ing a level of pay which is unsustainable. The problem we have is that these people don't care about the long term,only getting to the end of their own careers and a fat pension.
Too many people in local authorities are receiv Ing a level of pay which is unsustainable. The problem we have is that these people don't care about the long term,only getting to the end of their own careers and a fat pension. steveG
  • Score: 10

1:44pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Rememberscarborough says...

Governments very rarely "give" money away so I suspect there are a bucket load of conditions attached to their generosity. Much like Nestle "giving" baby milk to the third world and then starting to charge for it when mothers could no longer produce their own...
Governments very rarely "give" money away so I suspect there are a bucket load of conditions attached to their generosity. Much like Nestle "giving" baby milk to the third world and then starting to charge for it when mothers could no longer produce their own... Rememberscarborough
  • Score: 5

1:50pm Thu 6 Mar 14

wsw69 says...

Ahh yes, Cliff Morris. Bolton's number one head idiot, leader of the pack. How any of those in the 'Clown Hall' can sleep straight at night is beyond me!
Ahh yes, Cliff Morris. Bolton's number one head idiot, leader of the pack. How any of those in the 'Clown Hall' can sleep straight at night is beyond me! wsw69
  • Score: 24

1:56pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Beyond News Forum says...

Well I am in favor of this for once. Bolton needs huge investment - God I hate myself for saying that.

But rightly the conditions attached were probably too deep for the council to achieve anything over the next couple of years. I do think though the council should be looking at new revenue streams from outside of the borough and adopting a tax policy on companies such as Starbucks who wish to trade in the town.

Tough one this...
Well I am in favor of this for once. Bolton needs huge investment - God I hate myself for saying that. But rightly the conditions attached were probably too deep for the council to achieve anything over the next couple of years. I do think though the council should be looking at new revenue streams from outside of the borough and adopting a tax policy on companies such as Starbucks who wish to trade in the town. Tough one this... Beyond News Forum
  • Score: -11

2:16pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Reebok Rhythm says...

Beyond News Forum wrote:
Well I am in favor of this for once. Bolton needs huge investment - God I hate myself for saying that.

But rightly the conditions attached were probably too deep for the council to achieve anything over the next couple of years. I do think though the council should be looking at new revenue streams from outside of the borough and adopting a tax policy on companies such as Starbucks who wish to trade in the town.

Tough one this...
Yes, I would probably agree with the insentive regarding rejuventating enterprise and other feasible business-oriented means to generate more income in the borough. I'm not sure if the exploitation of the tax loop-hole via legitimate/legal avoidance schemes is morally acceptable but they are 'legal', just as Star Bucks have demonstrated by payining a tiny slither of tax from their Three-Billion amount in sales. Although I hasten to add, not until they came under great scrutiny and immense crtiticism with many punters choosing boycott their product.
[quote][p][bold]Beyond News Forum[/bold] wrote: Well I am in favor of this for once. Bolton needs huge investment - God I hate myself for saying that. But rightly the conditions attached were probably too deep for the council to achieve anything over the next couple of years. I do think though the council should be looking at new revenue streams from outside of the borough and adopting a tax policy on companies such as Starbucks who wish to trade in the town. Tough one this...[/p][/quote]Yes, I would probably agree with the insentive regarding rejuventating enterprise and other feasible business-oriented means to generate more income in the borough. I'm not sure if the exploitation of the tax loop-hole via legitimate/legal avoidance schemes is morally acceptable but they are 'legal', just as Star Bucks have demonstrated by payining a tiny slither of tax from their Three-Billion amount in sales. Although I hasten to add, not until they came under great scrutiny and immense crtiticism with many punters choosing boycott their product. Reebok Rhythm
  • Score: -1

3:12pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Jim271 says...

Unfortunately it looks like UKIP are going to do better next election.
Unfortunately it looks like UKIP are going to do better next election. Jim271
  • Score: 11

3:46pm Thu 6 Mar 14

adatherton says...

Why do Bolton people keep voting Labour then.
Why do Bolton people keep voting Labour then. adatherton
  • Score: 20

4:50pm Thu 6 Mar 14

stantheman133 says...

Only answer is don't vote for labour, but a lot of the people in Bolton would vote for a donkey if it had a Labour collar on.
Only answer is don't vote for labour, but a lot of the people in Bolton would vote for a donkey if it had a Labour collar on. stantheman133
  • Score: 25

4:50pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Hulton Park says...

Morris OUT - NOW. This isn't a party political point - it's a basic competency one.
Morris OUT - NOW. This isn't a party political point - it's a basic competency one. Hulton Park
  • Score: 18

5:18pm Thu 6 Mar 14

thealexweb says...

stantheman133 wrote:
Only answer is don't vote for labour, but a lot of the people in Bolton would vote for a donkey if it had a Labour collar on.
I cant help but think a large portion of Labour voters are the sort of folk that would be except from council tax due their low recorded household income.
[quote][p][bold]stantheman133[/bold] wrote: Only answer is don't vote for labour, but a lot of the people in Bolton would vote for a donkey if it had a Labour collar on.[/p][/quote]I cant help but think a large portion of Labour voters are the sort of folk that would be except from council tax due their low recorded household income. thealexweb
  • Score: 6

5:20pm Thu 6 Mar 14

aardwolf says...

steveG wrote:
Too many people in local authorities are receiv
Ing a level of pay which is unsustainable. The problem we have is that these people don't care about the long term,only getting to the end of their own careers and a fat pension.
Nope - that just isn't true. I used to work there. The wages are laughable - sometime up to 50% less than the equivalent in the private sector. The pension used to be good but even that has been hammered now. Hence the reason anybody qualified is fleeing Bolton Council for other jobs.
[quote][p][bold]steveG[/bold] wrote: Too many people in local authorities are receiv Ing a level of pay which is unsustainable. The problem we have is that these people don't care about the long term,only getting to the end of their own careers and a fat pension.[/p][/quote]Nope - that just isn't true. I used to work there. The wages are laughable - sometime up to 50% less than the equivalent in the private sector. The pension used to be good but even that has been hammered now. Hence the reason anybody qualified is fleeing Bolton Council for other jobs. aardwolf
  • Score: -6

12:31am Fri 7 Mar 14

Old Boltonian says...

The insolvency of our town has many aspects; local authority incompetence, historically mad town planning and road building decisions and the inexplicable isolation of our town from the Metrolink network being just a few. We must also be mindful that since the late 1970s the town has become the focus of intense migration from the South Asian sub continent. Whatever your views on multiculturalism, we have to agree that the modest finances and resources of Bolton have groaned under the weight of the ongoing investment needed to support the huge increase in demand for social benefit payments, housing, health and education that has been created by this unplanned and unforeseen change to the historic population profile of our small metropolitan borough. Bolton's political decision some years ago to volunteer as a national dispersal point for international economic migrants/ asylum seekers has further exacerbated these effects. Unless there is some sort of high level, mature debate about the resource and social implications of all these tensions that bear down in Bolton, it will be difficult for many to accept the validity of the swingeing cuts in facilities and social resources we have seen enacted, especially given the soon to be increased sky high council tax we suffer, in return for increasingly medieval levels of civic provision. Why is our Council so strangely silent on all these issues and what answers does your local councillor have why so many council tax payers pay so much for so little?
The insolvency of our town has many aspects; local authority incompetence, historically mad town planning and road building decisions and the inexplicable isolation of our town from the Metrolink network being just a few. We must also be mindful that since the late 1970s the town has become the focus of intense migration from the South Asian sub continent. Whatever your views on multiculturalism, we have to agree that the modest finances and resources of Bolton have groaned under the weight of the ongoing investment needed to support the huge increase in demand for social benefit payments, housing, health and education that has been created by this unplanned and unforeseen change to the historic population profile of our small metropolitan borough. Bolton's political decision some years ago to volunteer as a national dispersal point for international economic migrants/ asylum seekers has further exacerbated these effects. Unless there is some sort of high level, mature debate about the resource and social implications of all these tensions that bear down in Bolton, it will be difficult for many to accept the validity of the swingeing cuts in facilities and social resources we have seen enacted, especially given the soon to be increased sky high council tax we suffer, in return for increasingly medieval levels of civic provision. Why is our Council so strangely silent on all these issues and what answers does your local councillor have why so many council tax payers pay so much for so little? Old Boltonian
  • Score: 12

11:06am Fri 7 Mar 14

Phil from Smithills says...

As well as the council increase, don't forget that the police commissioner has also increased the police proportion of the council tax, a double whammy for those in Bolton who have to pay council tax..
As well as the council increase, don't forget that the police commissioner has also increased the police proportion of the council tax, a double whammy for those in Bolton who have to pay council tax.. Phil from Smithills
  • Score: 9

3:49pm Wed 12 Mar 14

pimpmaster says...

steveG wrote:
Too many people in local authorities are receiv
Ing a level of pay which is unsustainable. The problem we have is that these people don't care about the long term,only getting to the end of their own careers and a fat pension.
how do you work that out ? seeing as it was announced just a day or so ago that wages are now higher in the private sector than the public sector.
[quote][p][bold]steveG[/bold] wrote: Too many people in local authorities are receiv Ing a level of pay which is unsustainable. The problem we have is that these people don't care about the long term,only getting to the end of their own careers and a fat pension.[/p][/quote]how do you work that out ? seeing as it was announced just a day or so ago that wages are now higher in the private sector than the public sector. pimpmaster
  • Score: 1

4:26pm Wed 12 Mar 14

StartMeUp says...

> ALL nine of the other 10 Greater Manchester boroughs

This doesn't make sense. "All of the other nine..." or "All nine of the other..." but the ten is misplaced.
> ALL nine of the other 10 Greater Manchester boroughs This doesn't make sense. "All of the other nine..." or "All nine of the other..." but the ten is misplaced. StartMeUp
  • Score: 2

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