'Sad, misleading, gutter politics' - councillor hits back at leaflet slamming council tax rise
PUBLISHED: 14:20 20 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:20 20 March 2019
A Norfolk councillor who distributed thousands of leaflets in his ward criticising the rise in council tax has been accused of “sad, misleading, gutter politics”.
Pablo Dimoglou, independent councillor for Mattishall, who abruptly quit Breckland Council’s Conservative group last year, has delivered 2,000 leaflets to residents’ homes claiming the rise is “unfair and unnecessary”.
Paul Claussen, Conservative councillor for Mattishall, hit back at the leaflet’s “misleading” claims and accused Mr Dimoglou of practising “gutter politics”.
The leaflet features a image of Mr Dimoglou’s council tax bill and warns residents: “I don’t think you’re going to be happy.”
It claims: “Despite having £28m sitting in the bank, Conservative councillors voted to increase your council tax bill by virtually the maximum permitted.”
Mr Dimoglou also states: “I was one of only four councillors to vote against what I believe are unfair and unnecessary charges which hit hard-working residents.
“I have been shocked at what I feel is the amount of money wasted by the council and that has been squandered on investments.”
The leaflet also includes an image of Mattishall councillor Paul Claussen, and says: “[He] voted for the increase.”
Mr Claussen, who is preparing to stand in his sixth election as a Conservative councillor, said: “I’ve stood for election since 1999 and this is the first time I’ve experienced a personal attack.
“I find that rather sad - and I didn’t give him permission to use my face.
“People in the gutter only have one thing in life and that’s to drag you down to their level.
“This is gutter politics and I’m not going to get involved.”
Mr Claussen said he did vote for the rise, but that of the £1,300.29 figure on the leaflet, Breckland only received around £83, which he described as “misleading”.
He added: “We have the lowest council tax in the country, and we have about £6m, not £28m.”
Deputy council leader Sam Chapman-Allen said: “The council has £6m immediately available.”
A council spokesman said: “Most of Breckland’s residents will pay less than £90 a year for district council tax, but we spend the equivalent of around £500 per household on delivering services.”
Before quitting the group, Mr Dimoglou raised questions about leader William Nunn having an alleged “undisclosed personal connection” to the previous owners of multi-million pound golf club Barnham Broom.
Mr Nunn denied the allegation.