May 8, 1987 INDEX


Out in force: Furious residents stand up to be counted outside Waltham Forest town hall in their battle against a rates increase of more than 50 per cent. Picture DALE CHERRY

Rally of thousands fails to cut rates rise

by ANGELLA JOHNSON

LABOUR councillors were standing firm today after almost 6,000 angry demonstrators staged a noisy rally last night outside Waltham Forest Town Hall to protest against a 62 per cent rates rise.

Deputy council leader Bill Dennis said after a private meeting between senior councillors and a four-man delegation of ratepayers that there would be no re-assessment.

High

"This demonstration is not going to change our minds," he told reporters. "The money is needed for essential services like education, housing and social services."

Council leader Neil Gerrard, who is reported to have told residents' representatives that he personally considered the increase to be too high, rejected calls for him to address the crowd to justify the rise.

Residents waved flags and placards and chanted for Mr Gerrard's resignation. They accused him of responsibility for the average £7-a-week rise. Many domestic ratepayers who will face rates of 302.5 in the pound, have vowed not to pay what is the highest increase in London.

The protest was organised by Waltham Forest Ratepayers' Association. Spokeswoman Mrs Teresa Anderson, a mother of three, said: "Many of us are socialists, but this borough has been taken over by the loony Left. They are betraying poor working class people who cannot afford to pay this rates rise."

London Daily News May 8, 1987.Click to return to index