Tories target pensioners for price hikes

gardeningAt last week’s (26/11/13) Strategy and Resources Committee meeting the Lib Dem group voted down Tory proposals for an inflation busting increase of up to 50% on the cost of allotments for Woodley pensioners.

Beth Rowland, Lib Dem Group Leader at Woodley Town Council said “Lib Dems have always warned that charges to residents would be increased beyond the rate of inflation if the Tories took control of the town council and their first attempt was targeted on pensioners – how mean!” Beth added “I am pleased that Lib Dems were able to defeat this first attempt to increase the charges to residents by the Tory group that gained control of Woodley Town Council less than a year ago, but I fear that it will be the first of many such increases that the Tories will try to impose on residents”.

Coling Lawley, Lib Dem town councillor said “Allotments are environmentally friendly and provide the opportunity for exercise and also helps pensioners on fixed incomes and families to reduce their living costs by growing their own vegetables” Coling added “It is important that Woodley Town Council retain the concept of reduced charges for pensioners, who are often on fixed incomes and the committee papers presented at the meeting suggested that the pensioner discount could be removed altogether by 2019 for existing tenants and immediately for new tenants. I could not support these proposed increases, especially in these difficult economic times”.

Amanda Downes, Lib Dem town councillor said “Lib Dems are proud of the way the allotments developed under our control and so I am delighted that we were able to defeat the massive increases being proposed by the Tories”

Phil Challis, Deputy Lib Dem Group Leader at Woodley Town Council said “Under the last four years of prudent Lib Dem financial management the town council precept was not increased and we believe that there is no need for the council to inflict such a massive increase on pensioners with such urgency”. Phil added “At the same meeting Lib Dems also won a review of the Tory proposal to impose levy of 50p on all credit card transactions”.

Beth Rowland added “At the same meeting we learnt that the Allotments Tenants Association has broken off relations with the council since the Tories took over. I believe that the council must work with tenants to ensure the best possible future for the allotments. Therefore at the meeting Lib Dems proposed that the council should consult allotment holders on the structure of charges, pensioner reductions, and the ever increasing cost of water before any proposals are brought back to the committee”.

Published by Woodley & Whitegates Liberal Democrats, 26 Farriers Close Woodley, Reading RG5 3DD.

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