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Last Updated: Friday, 16 January, 2004, 15:18 GMT
Protesting pensioners praised
Council tax protesters
Pensioners protested against last year's council tax rises
Devon pensioners campaigning for council tax reform have been sent a message of support by a local council leader.

The pensioners set off for another mass demonstration and rally in London on Saturday.

But they leave with praise for their determination and commitment from Devon County Council leader Brian Greenslade ringing in their ears.

The 17.9% council tax rise in Devon last year was one of the highest in England and led to widespread protests by pensioners.

The council blamed the government for the large increase.

Devon pensioners are to be commended for their determination and commitment
Councillor Brian Greenslade, Devon County Council leader
But the government insisted it had been fair to local authorities and warned it was prepared to cap any councils that insisted on large tax rises.

Mr Greenslade said: "While the county council is taking a leading role in battling for reform through local government channels, the pensioners are taking a similar high-profile role to highlight the concerns of council tax payers.

"It is important we present a united front to demonstrate to the government that we all share the same concerns and want change.

"A fairer way of paying for council services must be found."

Continue fight

He said the county council had been campaigning year on year for a fair deal for Devon.

"The pensioners have taken action and said 'enough is enough'," said Mr Greenslade.

"But this is a fight we must all wage on behalf of everyone, particularly those on low incomes.

"Devon pensioners are to be commended for their determination and commitment and for their willingness to campaign to force the government to think again.

"Tomorrow's demonstration and rally shows they are prepared to continue the fight and take it to the government's doorstep where it cannot be ignored."

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05 Jan 04  |  Devon
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05 Jan 04  |  Devon
4.3m given to council
12 Dec 03  |  Devon
Pensioner tax plan scrapped
18 Nov 03  |  Kent

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