Dear Sir,

At last weeks Great Aycliffe Town Council meeting something quite unsurprising happened.

Labour Councillors voted politically against my motion to try and address the unfair council tax in our town.

Then our Labour Town Councillors, breaching the constitution of the Council, made up a motion on the spur of the moment kind of agreeing with me, but failing to address the issue. Quite bizarre.

The reality is that they clearly don’t know what they are doing.

As many residents will now know, we suffer from Double Taxation whereby we pay for services elsewhere in County Durham and then pay the Town Council again for our services.

Durham County Council can, under s136 of the Local Government Act 1972, pay a grant each year to Great Aycliffe Town Council to fix the Double Taxation issue.

Given that Chester-le-Street, Crook, Consett and other areas get a raft of services which we pay for, it is pretty clear that a rebate should be paid.

We are paying £250 more council tax than residents in these other towns, all of which have wonderful flower displays and plenty of other services from the County which we get from our Town Council for additional cost.

So there are only three possibilities: Either our town council isn’t being run efficiently, or we are being treated unfairly and should get a council tax cut, OR both.

Labour runs Great Aycliffe Town Council AND Durham County Council. They are responsible for our unfair council tax and are seeking to pull the wool over all our eyes.

A message for our Labour leadership: Neither myself nor the voters of Newton Aycliffe believe a word you say any more and we will get fair council tax, with or without you.

Kind regards

Cllr Michael Stead