Buckinghamshire County Council is holding a consultation with local residents about Council Tax. So far, so good, however as reported by Harry Phibbs on Conservative Home, residents will not have an option to vote for a freeze or a cut. Instead they will be asked to chose from increases of two per cent, four per cent, or five per cent. As with all of these loaded consultations, the council helpfully informs residents what it can do with all the extra cash. Here is an example:
2% increase in Council Tax – this would provide us with an extra £4.4m, which means we could maintain our main services to the most vulnerable – although it would still mean cuts to other services and would not allow us to carry on putting extra money towards road repairs.
A household paying Band D Council Tax would pay 41p more a week (less than a bar of chocolate) Continue Reading
Rochdale Council raised Council Tax last year by 3.5 per cent last year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t try to increase Council Tax again next April. Despite these increases, a pay rise of £40,000 for the chief executive has been recommended, with other senior officers in line for whopping increases.
The current Chief Executive, Jim Taylor, is the lowest paid council boss in Greater Manchester. Struggling to live on a meagre £130,000 a year, he will see his salary rise to £170,000. This, of course, is just the headline figure. When you factor in employer’s pension contributions and employer’s National Insurance contributions, the true cost of the increase to taxpayers is over £50,000. Continue Reading
Shockingly, Cornish councillors are urging a 6 per cent Council Tax rise next year! Five cross-party councillors have submitted this proposal to Cornwall Council. ‘A 6 per cent rise would cost people about £1.50 a week,’ says one of these councillors, ‘but it would bring in an extra £9m, so even if we have to pay £1m for a referendum, we’d still have a bit of a buffer to help ease the pain of cutbacks that would will need to be made. A referendum would be expensive, but democracy costs money.’
Yes, taxpayers’ money—and they may well say ‘no’ to the imposition. ‘It’s not ideal,’ continues the councillor, ‘but many of us think it’s better.’ Continue Reading
Two weeks ago I wrote about the unions emphatically rejecting changes to terms and conditions for staff at Hull City Council. The leader of the council, Steve Brady, has previously cited one of the highest mileage rates of any council in the country and high overtime costs as two examples of why changes are needed. These changes would have made savings of £2.8 million.
It was revealed in the Hull Daily Mail this morning that the council’s cabinet has agreed to start a 45-day consultation over the termination of current contracts, and will aim to replace them with new terms and conditions of employment. Staff will be re-employed on new contracts from 1 December unless agreement can be reached with the unions on the issue. Continue Reading
If you asked local taxpayers for a list of vital council services they rely on, bin collections would be high on the list, and although many people freely recycle much of their rubbish, there still has to be a basic service provided for non-recyclable waste. In the past few days though, it has been reported in most of the national newspapers that Cardiff Council, in an attempt to meet the Welsh Government’s gold plated recycling targets, has proposed monthly bin and black bag collections.
The proposal could also see householders being charged ‘pay as you throw fees’ where they will pay less the more they recycle, and householders have also been warned they could face fines of £100 if they mix non-recyclables with recyclables. Continue Reading