Council tax freeze is a great win for Ashfield residents

I met with Unison last week, which is lobbying Tory MPs in red wall seats like Ashfield to try and secure extra funding for local councils.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 8:39 am

But as I pointed out Ashfield District Council (ADC) underspent by £2.6 million last year, increased their councillors’ wage bill and managed to find an extra £15 million to build a new leisure centre, yet surprisingly increased council tax.

Personally, I would love to see £15 million of taxpayers spent on our roads but it is very difficult to argue for extra cash from central Government when your local council has £2.6 million left in the kitty.

So, ADC is managing its finances and I was really pleased to see that they agreed with me that council tax should be frozen this year.

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Lee Anderson has welcomed Ashfield District Council's decision to freeze council tax for the year. Photo: London Portrait Photographer-DAV

A great win for Ashfield’s residents and thank you ADC.

More than 20 million people have now received their first Covid vaccination.

What a phenomenal achievement and we are leading the world in getting back to some sort of normality.

Everyone can play their part in this national effort even if its just by having the vaccination.

If you are reluctant then I would say please think of others and think of our NHS.

The chancellor has announced a £5 billion Restart Grant Package which will help some of the hardest hit business as we come out of lockdown.

And let’s be clear, while we are making good progress and have a clear map out after a very difficult year, our businesses will need all the help we can give them.

The EU is still playing games with the trade deal and I have heard some real horror stories from coastal MPs who tell me that their fishing suppliers are having to jump through hoops once their lorries get to France.

Some drivers have even reported they have lost their cargo due to then filling out their forms in the wrong colour pen.

The EU must accept that Britain has left and I have made no secret with my Parliamentary friends that we should retaliate to combat this divisive behaviour.

One suggestion is banning bottled water, which in some cases has 1,000 times more toxins than British tap water, which has has been considered by ministers.

It follows the EU banning British shellfish and some other products in what the UK government has deemed to be a punishment tactic and we cannot sit idly back.

So I have joined colleagues in writing to Lord Frost demanding that a ban on importing bottled water is brought in quickly.

Britain should not be the servant of the EU – we are an independent country now making our own way in the world and all we ask for is a level playing field.

No special favours required as we have the will to succeed in the global market and succeed, we will.

Maybe that’s what they are afraid of.

Lee Anderson is MP for Ashfield.