Whose idea was it really?
PUBLISHED: 14:30 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 16:06 25 August 2010
A COUNCIL S much trumpeted decision to freeze council tax came under fire from a veteran journalist last week.
A COUNCIL'S much trumpeted decision to freeze council tax came under fire from a veteran journalist last week.
Andrew Gilligan, journalist and resident of Hyde Vale, Greenwich, complained on a blog that his council's 0 per cent tax rise was electioneering nonsense.
But after admitting to taking copies of the council's 'newspaper' Greenwich Time (GT) from his library, the former BBC Radio 4 Today reporter said the paper may as well write 'Vote Labour' across its front page.
The report on the front of GT promised no rise in council tax in 2009/2010 and boasted of low council tax, however Mr Gilligan said many councils were likely to do the same.
"Goodness me - as recently as last October, Greenwich was one of 16 London councils which rejected a council-tax freeze proposed by the shadow chancellor, George Osborne," he said.
"Could there possibly be an election coming up?"
Perhaps, but it's not only Greenwich council leader Chris Roberts who wants his name (and face) plastered all over this overworked publicity victory.
Enter Mr Gilligan's bezzie mate, Mayor of London Boris John_on, who has pledged to freeze the Greater London Authority's cut.
Hours after Mr Gilligan's post, the Mayor's office announced that Mr Johnson wanted councils to "follow his example" by introducing a tax freeze... eight days after GT published its 0 per cent headline.
"I applaud the boroughs who are already helping to reduce the financial burden on their residents by lowering or freezing their council tax bills," said Boris.
"And I'd urge other councils who can to explore every possible avenue to do the same."
So, er, who's idea was it? George Osborne's, Chris Robert's, Boris Johnson's?