A SENIOR Waltham Forest councillor told today why he had resigned from the controlling Labour group in protest against a 62 per cent rate increase.
Mr Richard Slack said: "I can no longer support the financial strategy of the Labour group."
As the former planning committee chairman announced his resignation, up to 5000 demonstrators were protesting outside the town hall against the rate increase--the second largest in the country.
The demonstrators, all local residents, are taking legal action against the Left-wing authority next month in a desperate last effort to get the rate reduced.
Mr Slack said he believed controlling Labour councillors should have "born in mind the constraints placed on them by central government and adjusted their expenditure accordingly."
Because of the council's attitude, said Mr Slack, there was no doubt that the Government would rate-cap the borough next year, thus preventing another large increase.
He added: "I am not talking in terms of cutting any particular expenditure out of the budget--it is a case of looking at overall long-term policy."
Mr Slack broke from his colleagues to side with a Tory opposition motion demanding that instead of a rate being set the council meet again to decide on a lower figure. The motion was easily defeated.