silver and gold round coins
Photo by Sarah Agnew on Unsplash

I originally brought the template motion on Fair Tax to North Yorkshire County Council in November last year; a motion on Fair Tax was agreed last month. Patience and persistence when you are in opposition are virtues. I want to be clear that what was passed was a motion on FairTax, not the original one I proposed. The differences are illuminating.

What we did was secure an agreement in principle to sign up to the Councils for Fair Tax Declaration, as well as the main points in the Declaration. The sticking point was that officers expressed very real concerns around resourcing. Both I and the Fair Tax Foundation invested a considerable amount of time working with officers to reassure them and to find wording that was both acceptable politically and acceptable to financially prudent officers. It’s a feature of being in opposition is that you have to be pragmatic and take victories where you can, so we compromised.

There’s one other point I would like if you’re seeking to take through a motion on Fair Tax through the council: it’s important to do your homework and understand what your council is doing at present. Not all councils are starting from scratch on Fair Tax, and there are often advocates inside the council for what you’re trying to achieve. In respect of Fair Tax, the Head of Procurement is a good person to start with.

Positively, we’ve demonstrated that Fair Tax – at least at council level – is a non-partisan issue and that even where it can seem that you’re struggling against the tide, progress can be made. I’m delighted that we got so far. It’s definitely a win, but I can’t pretend that it was easy or quick.