Martin Curtis is a Conservative County Councillor for North Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire. He is also Cabinet Member for Adult Services. When CCC put up tax by 2.95% for 2012/13 one of the reasons for doing this was a consultation had taken place and therefore:
"A local referendum would cost money to deliver, money that could be spent on services."
To validate this point Martin went on to say:
That last point is an important one, it is not that anyone is scared of listening to local people, rather that we have already consulted as part of our consideration for the current budget proposals. That (statistically valid) consultation showed that there was appetite around the County for a small council tax rise - provided that the money was spent on residents' priorities; we have done this. As an example by investing more in Adult Social Care in order to slow down the reductions and allow us to make the long term savings we need in a much more measured and joined up way, and by investing an extra £90m in roads (which means roads, pavements and cycle paths). Both of these areas were shown to be priorities in our consultation.
That sounds great. The County Council did a consultation of all residents and came up with a council tax rise. Forget the Conservative Manifesto promise of 2 years Council Tax freeze. If the Conservatives lose control of Cambridgeshire County Council on 2nd May 2013 it would be because of muddled thinking.
That is muddled thinking by the Conservatives. To stay in power the Conservatives need votes. These votes are unlikely to come from the opposition. If you are making your supporters unhappy by pushing up Council Tax they won't vote for you and could vote UKIP instead. That is the muddle. Wanting to get re-elected has everything to do with designing policies to garner enough support. With Council Tax increases this policy is designed to alienate the Conservatives core support.