Council Tax

  realist 19:15 22 Jan 2007

Our County Council has just announced an increase of 4.95% in its share of the Council Tax for 2007/8. Just enough to avoid the capping limit. So my next bill will be around £1,355.

I wouldn't mind, but we are forever reading about councillors' fact-finding trips to the US. We somehow seem to have become "twinned" with a US State which presents lots of opportunities for junkets on both sides of "The Pond".

Another pet project is for the building of an art gallery in the sea (yes,in the sea). After spending around £7,000,000 (yes,7 million) on design fees the wise men of the council concluded that it would cost too much to build in the sea. So now they're sort of starting again on land, "at far less cost and less risk to the (council) taxpayer". It seems unlikely any "heads will roll" nor that the ruling party will be unseated given the political colour of our shire county.

Current government thinking is towards "subsidiarity" whereby general tax revenue is doled out to local bodies/charities etc to get the job (whatever it is) done. This would almost certainly bring an end to "Council Tax" as we know it.

  Stuartli 19:33 22 Jan 2007

The allowances and expenses bill for the comparatively few number of councillors on myu MBC totals nearly £1m.

Yet probably 90 per cent of decisions are taken by council officials and a councillors' Cabinet of 11 members........

Oh for the days when people did it because they wanted to help their community for little or no payment, rather than pocket as much as they could.

  Totally-braindead 19:46 22 Jan 2007

For some good news regarding councillors.

The local council here have had to do a U turn on their plans to sell off an area of one of our local parks.
The park was gifted to the local people by one of the wealthier citizens. It was not and never has been owned by the council.
This did not stop them though. The councillors decided when a local bowling pavilion was no longer being used that they would just knock it down and sell off the land for housing, no doubt to help fund some equally vital work such as a trip to France.
A petition was started by a local citizen to see what the people thought of this. 98% voted to demolish the old bowling green and convert it back into parkland. Only 2% voted to allow the sale to go ahead.
So they were left with no option but to change their plans which they had no right to formulate in the first place.

  hijo 20:39 22 Jan 2007

Here in HULL the council here ON THE SAME DAY anounced that there is going to be a £25 per year increase on council tax per person & in the same breath anounced that there is going to be 300 job cuts in dare they....

  BT 08:42 24 Jan 2007

Just be glad you don't live in London and are being forced to pay for the OLYMPICS by an additional amount added to your Council Tax. You have no choice as rich or poor, young or old, you have to pay it even though the chance of getting allocated a ticket is extreemly slim. Councils are even asking Londoners to offer accomodation to overseas athletes.
If the British public is expected to pay for the Olympics it should have been countrywide not just the London Council Tax payers.

  georgemac © 09:13 24 Jan 2007

London will have a huge regeneration project due to the Olympics and facilities that can be used for years to come by the people in the London area.

Why should I be expected to pay for something I will never get the benefit of? Undoubtedly as a taxpayer, I will end up contributing towards some of the costs of the Olympics which I don't mind, but the area that gets the long term benefit should pay the bulk of the costs.

In my opinion, we have far too much government nowadays, especially with Scottish/Welsh parliaments etc, more talking shops costing us far too much money. The cost of Government has risen beyond belief in the last 10 years.

We all must accept some responsibility for the way local councils behave - we elect them.

  georgemac © 09:15 24 Jan 2007

that the Olympics are supposed to generate a net profit - so where does this go? Can the London Council Tax payers expect a return on their investment from the profits from the games?

Or is the profit from the games measured in the revenue generated for the economy?

  anchor 09:24 24 Jan 2007

The 2004 Athens Olympic games made such a huge deficit that VAT in Greece had to be raised by about 2%.

I think many potential visitors will be deterred by the high costs in London, plus the security risks. Who wants, or needs, to host the Olympics?. Benefits; what benefits?.

  Kate B 11:11 24 Jan 2007

georgemac, London is huge. I live in west London and never go to east London. I and pretty much everyone I know is unlikely to make use of the facilities post-Olympics. The people who will benefit are those who live nearby whose property prices will go up. That's fine, but I think the whole country should be paying for it, not just Londoners. It's a fiction that Londoners will benefit. Some will, most won't.

Can you quantify your statement that the cost of government has risen "beyond belief" in the past 10 years? Figures?

  Mr Mistoffelees 11:36 24 Jan 2007

If you are not happy with the way the ruling party is running your parish, district or county council, then vote them out at the next election. that is the essence of democracy.

  Kate B 11:43 24 Jan 2007

Fair point, but weak, Mr M, on this occasion. Either main political party would have bid for the Olympics and either way London would be stuck with paying for it. I don't see any other party saying "we're going to make sure that London doesn't carry the financial burden of the Olympics". Also, I'm not a single-issue voter - my vote goes to the party that mostly stands for what I believe in.

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