Members of a city council have fallen out over a 16 per cent rise in its council tax precept – with some saying it should be higher.
The increase is the first significant increase for Deal in nine years and comes as households also face high bills for food, heating and transport.
This will equate to an additional 81p per month or £9.67 per year paid for a D-strip property.
But Green Party councilors expressed outrage as they wanted an 18% increase to tackle climate change.
They protested as they walked out of the January 25 budget meeting.
The 2% difference would have been an extra 3 pence per week for the average household.
Over the year, this would have meant £10,000 to invest in energy saving and pollution reduction measures.
‘The Labour-led council has worked hard to keep it as low as possible while delivering on our climate change commitments’
Climate activists say the small economy is ‘short-sighted’ and accuse other advisers of abandoning their commitment to tackling the crisis.
Cllr Christine Oliver, Green Party chair of the council’s environment committee, said: ‘Labour has done all it can to delay a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions council’s greenhouse and to provide help and support to other members of the community to reduce their environmental impact and fuel bills.
“Just when it looks like a plan is coming to fruition, Labor has chosen to cut environmental funding.”
Mike Eddy, Green Party councilor for Mill Hill, said: “As well as reducing energy use in the council building, we want to work with others to develop renewable energy sources, as well as to reduce plastic pollution.
“Labour has delayed these possibilities by their short-sightedness.
“They are working to increase energy and food poverty.
“We are working to make Deal an even better place to live and work.”
Green Party plans would also have involved improving the productivity of gardens, creating community orchards, as well as planting trees and hedges to reduce flooding and improve biodiversity.
North Deal union adviser Sue Beer defended the decision.
She said: “The agreed tax rate of £69.13 for a Band D property means we still have the lowest precept of any town in the district.
“The Labour-led council has worked hard to keep it as low as possible while delivering on our climate change commitments.”
She points out that two years ago the council allocated up to £50,000 in the budget for environmental projects.
While only £15,000 has been spent so far, the board voted to allow the underspend to progress and add a further £15,600 for 2022-23, so that £50,000 remains available.
In Sandwich, the city council has voted to freeze its council tax precept at the same level as last year. Council tax remains at £135.96 per Band D property.