Folkestone Town (parish) Council has put £400,000 towards a World War One memorial arch organised by a group called Short Step. The charity has failed to raise its part of the money, so taxpayers face the prospect of being lumbered with another £19,000. It’s a worthy idea, but is it really the best use of taxpayers’ money ? Surely this is something better left to private charitable donations rather that spending huge amounts of taxpayers’ money without necessary safeguards. Local feeling is running high and the Folkestone Herald newspaper has launched a readers’ poll as to whether their money should be spent thus, or the project abandoned – Folkestone already having several war memorials. At the time of writing the poll is about to close and the “no’s” stand at 72% (over 1,200 responses). Continue Reading
Responding to the announcement of the strike price for new nuclear power stations, Jonathan Isaby, Political Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said:
“Yet again consumers and taxpayers are footing the bill for politicians to intervene in the dysfunctional energy market that they have created. Subsidies to guarantee investment in nuclear power will be paid for by households through higher energy bills, at a time when throwing money at uneconomic forms of renewable energy has already pushed bills to breaking point. The Treasury’s financial guarantee creates the danger of taxpayers bailing out French state-owned EDF if something goes wrong with the deal. Ministers should instead focus on more affordable forms of power generation available today, rather than guaranteeing profits for energy firms and leaving families to pay the price.”
On Saturday we launched our campaign against Cardiff Council’s barmy proposal to introduce monthly bin collections. Local TPA supporters gathered signatures to our petition opposing the idea, and even though parts of Cardiff were flooded, the residents of Llandaff and Whitchurch turned out in force to add their support. Over 300 signatures were collected in just over two hours.
Many local residents were shocked to hear of the proposal, with many asking why their local representatives weren’t standing up for them. They also expressed concern at potential infestations of rodents and fly tipping. Continue Reading
It was confirmed yesterday that Daryll Stephenson, Hull City Council’s part-time interim Chief Executive, is now the permanent council boss. He will work two days a week for a salary of £65,000 a year. It is also worth noting at this point that Mr Stephenson is the former Chief Executive of neighbouring East Riding of Yorkshire Council. He took early retirement from that post in 2005 – and his time there was not without controversy. His wife, Sue Lockwood, was also embroiled in controversy in 2010, when East Riding Council allowed her to retire early and her pension pot received a taxpayer funded top-up of £364,205.
The council also wants to create the role of Chief Operating Officer. It was originally thought this would be recruited internally. This would have meant an existing director receiving a pay rise for taking on additional responsibilities when Mr Stephenson was not at his desk. It now appears this is not so. On Tuesday, the council advertised externally for this new role on a negotiable salary.
“Why have a Chief Executive and a Chief Operating Officer?”, you may ask. I have asked the same question and haven’t got any definitive answers, other than it is possible Mr Stephenson will deal with the big projects and talk to ministers, and the Chief Operating Officer will deal with the day-to-day management of the council. This is just speculation though. Continue Reading
In our report on the recording of council meetings in Yorkshire & Lincolnshire, published earlier this week, we revealed that Scarborough Borough Council does not record its meetings, doesn’t allow members of the public to record meetings, and doesn’t have a policy in place on members of the public blogging and tweeting at meetings. This has angered local councillor Michelle Donohue-Moncrieff. Speaking to Yorkshire Coast Radio, she said: Continue Reading