Is the town council really serious that it can increase its share of the council tax by 33 per cent without any discussion with residents? Where does the mandate for such an outrageous proposal come from?
It would take more than a page of your letters column to comment on the reasons given to justify this increase so let me focus on just three.
Firstly, a café at the recreation ground. I see from the council’s latest newsletter that comments are invited but such consultation should surely have taken place before funds were allocated in the council’s budget. If it is thought to be an attractive proposition why is the private sector not being invited to take the risk and run the enterprise – or is it obvious that it will be a regular loss making venture which the local taxpayer will be asked to subsidise every year.
Secondly, £5000 is to be spent on a new mayoral chain. If only I could afford to spend such a sum on new jewellery!
Finally, £15,000 is apparently needed to top up the council’s reserves with a similar sum to follow in each of the next two years. A quick look at the council’s website shows that these reserves were quite healthy not so long ago so where has all that money gone?
The ability to set its proportion of the council tax without the same constraints as apply to county and district councils is a privilege but one that should not be abused.
If this is the way the town council expects to behave, the time cannot come soon enough when the rules limiting council tax increases are extended to profligate bodies such as our town council.
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