INDEX July 30, 1987

Fear as rebels lose in rates fight

By ALEX HENDRY

LABOUR council chiefs who yesterday won a court battle over a 62 per cent rate rise were warned they could be the target of extremists.

Since the increase was imposed in March, councillors claim they have been the victims of a hate campaign.

Police are investigating allegations that they and their families have been threatened and harassed.

Yesterday's warning came from the chairman of the Waltham Forest Ratepayers' Action Group in East London, which lost its High Court fight to have the rate rise declared illegal.

Coffins

Mr Martin Baxter. 36, said: "I am worried about what these extremists will do now we have lost. I totally deplore any unlawful action."

Deputy council leader Bill Dennis said councillors had received phone calls saying wives and daughters would be raped. Wreaths and coffins have also been delivered to their homes.

After yesterday's court case in which two judges ruled in the council's favour, the rate rebels were facing an estimated £100,000 bill for costs awarded against them.

When the rate--the highest in London--was announced, there was a mass demonstration outside Waltham Forest Town Hall, and 20,000 locals raised over £80,000 for the court fight.

Last night Neil Gerrard, leader of the council, which has now been ratecapped, said: "I feel sorry for some of the people persuaded to put money in."

Daily Express July 30, 1987.
Click to return to index