Anger over South Tyneside’s 3.95% council tax rise

South Shields Town Hall.
South Shields Town Hall.

Gazette readers have hit out at a 3.95% increase in council tax across South Tyneside.

The increase, which includes a 2% Government levy to pay for adult social care costs, was voted through by full council at Jarrow Town Hall on Thursday.

Councillor Ed Malcolm, lead member for resources and innovation, said: “The books are balanced to meet budget demands, but the costs will be felt for many years to come.

“We must be clear. Any organisation losing 30% of its funding cannot afford to maintain the status quo.

“The council is no different. At the end of the day, the cuts for South Tyneside are going to take their toll and although we are doing our best to minimise the impact of them, the continuation of years of grant reductions will mean we have to think hard about which services we can and cannot continue to provide.” However, readers on the Gazette’s Facebook and websites weren’t impressed by the price hike.

Alison Irving wrote: “That’s anyone on benefits hit again.

“They’re not getting their usual little rise this year, so rent, council tax, cost of living will all go up, but their money won’t be.”

Gloria Ghent pointed out that many workers haven’t received pay increases either.

She typed: “I’m not getting a rise either and I work full time. I didn’t get one last year either. It’s workers that will suffer as well.”

art_6 suggests people vote differently: “Stop voting for Labour if people want to see a change in the area. People keep voting them in and never learn.”

Banished offered: “Over the past six years, South Tyneside Council has delivered ‘£126million of savings,’ which could be interpreted as they have stopped wasting £126million.”