Coin-chucking councillor signs off in unusual style as authority confirms council tax rise

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An Ashfield councillor took the unusual step of chucking £79.57 on to the floor in loose change in the middle of his budget council speech.

Coun David Hennigan, Ashfield Council Independent member for represents Sutton Central and New Cross, is standing down in May and did the unusual act to demonstrate the council tax rise for Nottinghamshire Council in comparison with Ashfield’s rise.

Coun Hennigan, in his last meeting as an Ashfield councillor, was speaking after seconding the council budget that will lead to a rise of £5.75 a year in the Ashfield council tax precept for a band D home.

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Most residents in the district will pay between £2.50 and £3.50 extra a year, as they are in bands A and B.

Coun Dave Hennigan emptied a jar of coins on to the chamber floor during his speechCoun Dave Hennigan emptied a jar of coins on to the chamber floor during his speech
Coun Dave Hennigan emptied a jar of coins on to the chamber floor during his speech

Many more will pay nothing at all as the Ashfield Independents-controlled council confirmed another package of council tax support to help the poorest.

Coun Hennigan said, while throwing the coins: “Comparing Ashfield’s council tax rise with Nottinghamshire’s is not comparing like with like.

“I’m not one for gimmicks or stunts, but this small bag of change is Ashfield’s rise and this big jar is Nottinghamshire’s rise.

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“I don’t want to put council tax up in my last meeting, but doing this protects the vital services residents need.

“Like our spring clean, like investing in leisure centres and improving our parks – these are services that residents value.

“This is a budget that will continue moving Ashfield forward and allow us to continue the job we are doing to transform the borough.”

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Neither the Conservative or Labour councillors spoke at all during the meeting – the first meeting since the council was created in 1974 that no opposition councillor spoke.

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Coun Lee Waters, who represents Hucknall North, went on to point out that since 2016, Ashfield has had the second-worst Government cuts in the country.

He said: “Let’s be honest – the Conservative Government is shafting us.

"This is a budget, however, that protects the services that residents tell us they love.”

Ashfield’s council tax will see an annual rise of £3.83 or 7p a week for the majority of its residents.

Some 53 per cent of council tax payers across Ashfield live in band A properties and of these, 27 per cent are receiving full or partial council tax support.