Greenwich Labour set to break their promise on Council Tax Support

B9491AE6-4EC3-40A8-BFDC-079176C87584It looks like Greenwich Labour are breaking their promise to improve the level of support given to low income residents with Council Tax bills from this April.

A year ago Greenwich Conservatives put forward a fully costed proposal to lift up to 15,000 low-income residents out of Council Tax altogether, by increasing the support given to qualifying working-age residents in the Council Tax Support scheme to up to 100% of their bills, up from the current 85%.

Labour councillors voted this proposal down – as with most of our good ideas – and tride to claim they were  intending to implement the change anyway, promising that it would come into effect in April 2019. I blogged on the dubious basis for this claim at the time here.

Either way, the promise was made.  During that budget-setting meeting, then Council Leader Denise Hyland told me:

“The Fairness Commission has made a recommendation for that, and that is for an introduction in April 2019. So it’s already under way with the working party for social mobility – it’s already a recommendation that has been accepted.”

Cabinet instead recommending no change

But fast forward a year, and at their Cabinet meeting tonight, Labour councillors are set to make a recommendation to next week’s Full Council meeting that no change is made to Council Tax Support for the coming year. Continue reading Greenwich Labour set to break their promise on Council Tax Support

Supporting Renew New Eltham this morning in support of #MoreInCommon

Along with candidates from all parties, I paused my campaign this morning in memory of Jo Cox, and in support of the excellent #MoreInCommon initiative from the Jo Cox Foundation.  Candidates across the UK are joining community projects in celebration of the values that Jo stood and campaigned for (more information on BBC News here).

The team and I helped the Community Association of New Eltham‘s summer planting outside the shops – part of the community’s Renew New Eltham initiative to look after the village.

CANE planting

Syed Kamall MEP visits Eltham

Syed Kamall MEP and Matt Hartley

I was pleased to be joined on the campaign trail in Eltham by my old friend Syed Kamall MEP today.

As well as being a tireless campaigner for Londoners, Syed is playing a vital role representing Britain’s interests inside the European Parliament for these next two years in the run up to Brexit.

We spent the day talking to residents and making the case for their support on June 8th, to send Theresa May back to Number 10 with a strong negotiating hand in Brussels.