May 8, 1987 INDEX

62pc rate rise to stay
by Steve Hayward

MASSED ANGER... Irate ratepayers outside Waltham Forest Town Hall call for the resignation of the council. Evening Standard picture: CLIVE HO

LABOUR councillors today cast aside calls for their resignation and insisted a 62 per cent rates rise would remain, despite a mass rally against the increase.

Mr Bill Dennis, deputy leader of Waltham Forest Council disappointed thousands of ratepayers at the town hall when he declared: " We are not going to back down."

As he spoke residents were preparing a last ditch legal challenge to the Increase In the High Court. They >were also asking the local government district auditor to intervene.

Mr Alan Crown, spokesman for the Waltham Forest Ratepayers Group, said today: "We didn't hold out much hope of persuading the council to overturn its decision and restore the rates to a reasonable level.


" Legal action is now our only hope of making the council see sense."

Labour councillors were jeered and there were shouts of " out, out, out" when 6000 demonstrators surrounded the town hall as the annual mayor making ceremony was held inside.

Ratepayers were furious that Labour members had refused to address the rally, which followed a similar protest nearly a month ago.

But Labour leader Neil Gerrard and some senior colleagues agreed to meet a deputation before the mayor making meeting started.

Mr Dennis expressed sympathy with ratepayers but said: "We understand nobody likes having a large Increase in rates.

" But nobody likes being homeless or having their children sent home because there aren't enough teachers."

Evening Standard May 8, 1987.
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