Graham Cox, the Conservative candidate for the forthcoming by-election in Westbourne Ward, has urged Brighton & Hove City Council’s Green Administration to think of the elderly before finalising plans for the country’s largest council tax increase.
Whilst campaigning over the past few weeks in Westbourne, Graham has spoken to hundreds of residents on the doorsteps and on the streets. A wide cross-section of Westbourne residents have cited their greatest worry over the Greens’ cuts as the consequences for the elderly. Not only will elderly residents be expected to pay more council tax, they will also be hit by cuts to public toilets and to libraries – two services that are used regularly by elderly residents around Brighton & Hove.
The Green Party has turned down a £3 million grant from central government and has instead chosen to raise the funds from the people of Brighton & Hove by raising council tax by 3.5%. This is the largest increase in the country.
Graham said: “When council tax is being increased by so much, I, and most local people, are struggling to understand why cuts that will affect such a vulnerable group are being made. 3.5% per year amounts to a 15% rise over four years. It bothers me a lot that many elderly people are struggling to pay council tax now. How they are expected to pay so much more, I really do not know.”
The Westbourne by-election will take place on Thursday 22nd December, following the resignation of Cllr Brian Oxley. Graham Cox is the former Head of Sussex CID and served as a police office in Sussex for 30 years.