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 The Town/Parish Council Tax precept scam
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BRAM
Advanced Member

373 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2011 :  13:50:10  Show Profile
The Government recently announced a second year freeze on council tax increases but is this just another piece of misleading spin?

http://www.isitfair.co.uk/Downloads/Town-Parish%20precepts%20-%20Oct%202010.pdf

Bert
Advanced Member

484 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2011 :  15:27:02  Show Profile
The answer to your question is....No, no spin at all, in this current Government's freezing of the Council Tax this year and next.

The document to which you link, is dated 2009, and all the information and charts relate to pre-2009, under the previous Labour Government, where clearly there was an issue, within some Local Authorities.

So that document does not relate to anything concerning the current Government's request that Local Authorities freeze Council Tax this year and next.

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roosterbri
Advanced Member

United Kingdom
553 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2011 :  15:28:01  Show Profile
Sounds very much like it.
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BRAM
Advanced Member

373 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2011 :  11:16:19  Show Profile
Bert - although the article refers to 2009 information the issue still exists in that District & County Councils are reducing services but not council tax bills. As the article points out the government freeze does not apply to parish or town councils although the government does not reveal that fact.Nor have the previous or present government done anything to address the anomaly.
Furthermore, as we are seeing in Angmering, library services are being passed from WSCC to APC to fund along with their other ill conceived spending plans which will result in higher parish precepts along with higher energy & food bills that hardpressed residents will have to suffer.
So how is this not spin?
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Bert
Advanced Member

484 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2011 :  13:55:38  Show Profile
BRAM. Your initial article links the current year and next year freezing of Council Tax, by the current Government, with the link document you provided.

That document was written in 2009, and relates to matters prior to 2009. The author of that document could not have known that the present Government would freeze Council Tax, in 2011 and 2012, unless he/she has amazing powers of knowing what will happen in the future.

That document has therefore no relevance whatsoever with what has subsequently occurred, as you suggest, by linking the two. Neither, of course, does it mention the " ....Government freeze...." as you suggest. It could not possibly have done so, two years before it occurred.

One of the points of the document was in relation to the cap, (not the current freezing) prior to 2009, and that town and parish councils could (and still can) increase their precept, irrespective of that cap.

In practice, we have seen a complete freeze on WSCC contribution this year and doubtless next, a complete freeze on Arun DC this year and doubtless next. So it has done "exactly as it states on the tin." A freeze.

My Angmering PC precept was increased this year from 99.45 to 100.75, an increase of 1.3%, as they are allowed to do, and I find an additional 1.30 a year perfectly acceptable. I doubt too many residents will find an extra 13pence for each of the ten months too difficult. Less than 13 pence for most.

So far as the transfer of Library services are concerned, APC sent out a consultation note for residents to complete. It overwhelmingly suggested that residents are prepared to pay a very small sum to take on this important role.

Higher energy and food bills are nothing whatsoever to do with the Council Tax subject you raise.

That is why the freezing of Council Tax, this year and next, is not "misleading spin." They have been frozen.

It would appear that you are attempting to make your 2009 document into something it clearly is not.

If you are concerned that APC have taken over a responsibility previously held by either WSCC or ADC, write to them and ask them.
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BRAM
Advanced Member

373 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2011 :  14:43:03  Show Profile
Bert unless my understanding of English is incorrect "No increase in council tax" is just that "NO INCREASE"- whether County,District,Police Authority or Parish precepts.If governments expect the electorate to believe that they are being transparent then all relevant facts should be revealed.
The transfer of services from county to parish in order to transfer financial responsibility is merely sleight of hand with the various local authorities acting in tandem.In his report to APC 4/7/11 the Parish Clerk himself seems to accept that under cover of the Big Society/Localism principles "this is an attempt to offload County Council services to Parishes or the community when making cuts"
The APC library consultation document you refer to produced far from the overwhelmingly positive response you claim & may well be just one example of things to come.
My reference to increasing energy & food costs was to indicate that people are already struggling to cope with escalating bills during a very difficult economic climate where jobs & benefits are under threat & so any increase in parish precept will be felt.Reducing it to pence per day/week/month is akin to the BBC justifying its licence fee when the real point is whether the service is in fact necessary,worth it or indeed wanted by the majority when it merely recycles the same old rubbish
Much like local authorities really.

Since the wealthier proponents of APC seem to welcome such increases perhaps they could absorb the overall cost.
As to writing to WSCC,ADC or our local councillors & MPS I find that a waste of time.
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Bert
Advanced Member

484 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2011 :  14:51:40  Show Profile
BRAM. Clearly we will agree to differ in the interpretation of your initial and subsequent comments.
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