INDEX July 17, 1987
Waltham Forest rate challenge

Labour members of Waltham Forest LBC, who voted for a 62% rate rise, were accused in the high court this week of improperly following instructions from a body outside the council.

Labour members followed the recommendations of an external local government committee, made up of local Labour activists and trade unionists as well as councillors, said James Wadsworth QC, counsel for the Waltham Forest Ratepayers Action Group.

The group claims the council's decision to increase the rate by 62% this year was unreasonable and is asking the high court to quash it.

The case is the first of three attempts by London ratepayers to challenge high rate rises by Labour councils. Ealing ratepayers are appealing against being refused leave to apply for judicial review of their 65% increase and in Hammersmith and Fulham ratepayers aim to have a 49.6% rise reduced.

Waltham Forest councillors planned a big budget increase even though officers warned they risked being rate capped, said Mr Wadsworth.

The ratepayers also claim consultation with businesses did not meet the requirements of the 1984 Rates Act.

The case was continuing as LGC went to press and a reserved judgment was expected today.

Local Government Chronicle July 17, 1987.
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