The Royal Borough of Greenwich has become the first in London to commit to our Councils for Fair Tax Declaration, joining Oxford, Oldham, Peterborough, Cannock Chase and Bingley as the sixth council to stand up for responsible tax conduct.
It’s been heartening to see the breadth of support for this campaign. Councillors, whatever their political allegiance, work hard to direct the delivery of local public services and most will balk at seeing the public finances on which Councils rely undermined by dodgy and opaque tax practices.
Cllr Christine Grice, Greenwich’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources said: “As a cabinet member for the borough I feel strongly that we put fairness at the heart of everything we do, and part of that means everyone paying their fair share, including tax.”
When we launched the Declaration in July, with Oxford City Council the first to support, we had known for some time of the appetite amongst Councils for meaningful action on responsible tax. As Councillor Tom Hayes said: “Oxford is thrilled to become the first council to sign up to the Fair Tax Declaration. A transparent approach to tax is an essential tool for tackling inequality and we want our commitment to encourage other responsible public bodies to sign up.”
And encouraged they have been. Also approving the Declaration in July was Oldham Council, where a motion was put forward by Liberal Democrats, and Peterborough City Council where a Labour & Co-operative motion was supported by the majority-Conservative Council. In August, Greens in Cannock Chase saw the Declaration approved, and in October we were delighted to welcome the Royal Borough of Greenwich, our first London council as well as Bingley Town Council, our first parish council.
Several more councils are working with procurement and finance officers to consider their support.
This is about effecting change through positive means. Councillor David Seaton, Peterborough City Council’s cabinet member for finances, said at the time of their announcement: “By signing up to this initiative we are leading by example and demonstrating good practice.” At the Fair Tax Mark we’re firmly of the belief that for the role of tax to be properly valued, we must celebrate the positive contribution it makes and those organisations that pay their fair share, as well as uncovering dodgy practices. It’s for this reason that the Councils for Fair Tax Declaration enables UK cities, towns and districts to stand up for responsible tax conduct – doing what they can within existing frameworks and pledging to do more if given the opportunity, as active supporters of tax justice.
Want to become a Fair Tax Council?
By approving the Councils for Fair Tax Declaration your Council will demonstrate that it is:
- leading by example on its own tax conduct
- demanding greater transparency from suppliers
- calling for more meaningful powers to tackle tax avoidance amongst suppliers when buying goods and services.
Check out the range of Councils which have signed up.
Got a question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org