Dear Ms Onasanya MP,
I am writing to ask if you will use your influence to ask the Leader of the Labour Group on Peterborough City Council to rule out plans to introduce swingeing council tax increases that would hit those on fixed incomes in our City hardest of all. As Peterborough’s Labour MP you should bring pressure to bear to pull Cllr Ed Murphy back to the centre ground, and prevent him inflicting a hard left experiment with the City’s finances, should Labour win control of the council at the elections next year.
In November last year – the Peterborough Telegraph reported that the Labour Group Leader would have supported council tax increases of up to 15% prior to the council’s budget meeting. This has caused a great deal of concern among local residents who feel they could be asked to find hundreds of pounds further a year. For example in Ravensthorpe ward – where I am campaigning hard on behalf of local people and which is in your constituency – this could mean an extra £222 on council tax bills for families living in an average Band D property. You can appreciate why many people have contacting the local Conservatives on this issue.
While council tax increases suggested by the Labour councillor would require a City wide referendum (and the associated cost of this), these quite open comments suggest what would be in store for tax payers should Labour ever lead the council. What’s more, the growing involvement of the far left group, Momentum, in local Labour politics (including your election campaign) should also be of concern. In Bristol, where they are firmly entrenched, they have suggested council tax increases of up to 200% according to the local paper. I dread to think what they would inflict on our City should their influence on the Peterborough Labour Party continue to grow.
Politics does generate strong feelings and emotions. However, party politics have sometimes been put aside locally in order to do what is best for our City and our residents. This is evident in the council’s ‘Stand Up for Peterborough’ campaign. These radical proposals from the Labour Leader break with this tradition.
Will you show leadership in your position as Peterborough’s MP and within the local Labour Party to bring the Labour Group Leader back to the centre ground?
Will you publicly declare your opposition to Cllr Murphy’s support for council tax increases of up to 15%?
Will you distance yourself from Momentum and other far left groups who are pressing for more influence in Labour nationally and locally?
If you are able to demonstrate this independence of mind and leadership, it will be great comfort for many of your constituents who are deeply worried about the prospect of a Labour administration, who could play a dangerous game with our City’s finances?
Ravensthorpe Conservative Action Team