Cap the tax calls

PROTESTERS took their message to the streets of Felixstowe, where hundreds of people supported the calls to cap council tax.Members of pressure group PACTS (Protest Against Council Taxes Suffolk) took up station in the town's Hamilton Road where shoppers backed their protest.

By Amanda Cresswell

PROTESTERS took their message to the streets of Felixstowe, where hundreds of people supported the calls to cap council tax.

Members of pressure group PACTS (Protest Against Council Taxes Suffolk) took up station in the town's Hamilton Road where shoppers backed their protest.

The group has visited six Suffolk sites including Ipswich, Woodbridge, Stowmarket, Sudbury and Bury St Edmunds, where people have been queuing up to sign petition forms.

Organiser Reg Hartles, 71, of Glemsford Close, Felixstowe, was delighted with the support.

He carried a placard outside Woolworths reading: "Inflation three percent and council over 18 percent. What next?" and drummed up support on the loud speaker.

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He told The Evening Star: "The attention at our tables has been continuous and we have had people queuing up to sign the petition forms.

"Our objective is to bring the whole issue to the forefront and not let people forget.

"There are a lot of strong feelings about. Goodness knows what will happen next year if they don't peg it. I am all for spending on necessities like education and social services but anything beyond that should be looked at very carefully.

"To have council tax six times the rate of inflation is just not acceptable."

Letters are also being continually sent out to central and local government.

PACTS member Tom Sully said: "We are very concerned about what next year will bring."

PACTS has collected more than 4,000 signatures since the protest started in June. Their presence was marked by The Evening Star's 'cap the tax' posters.

Shopper Eve Davies, 62, of Cornwall Road, Felixstowe, backed the cause.

She told The Star: "We were absolutely shocked by the council tax rises. I have a chalet on the sea front and the council tax has gone up from £800 to £900 odd pounds.

"If it goes up again this time, we won't be able to afford it. It is just pushing people out of the town."

Mum of two Hazel Newman, 41, of Westleton Way, Felixstowe, said: "Council tax just keeps going up and up.

"It is becoming a financial strain."

However, not everyone shared their views. Dorothy Redshaw, 82, of Pickwick Court, Felixstowe, said: "We get a damn good service. I don't agree with this."

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