Is Ceredigion Council helping to create a property bubble?
Sep 2013 23

Houses prices in Ceredigion have seen huge monthly increases, in  fact the area was ranked in the top ten for August’s increases nationally. Potential buyers in Ceredigion faced a rise only 0.2% smaller than those in London for the same period.  Ceredigion Council hasn’t missed out on an opportunity though to bolster its bureaucratic army, and has appointed Sian Davies to the new post of Rural Housing Enabler. Continue Reading

Democracy in Hull suffers another blow
Sep 2013 19

Almost two years ago, I presented a petition at a full council meeting in Hull. I was given the opportunity to speak for five minutes and then councillors had the opportunity to question me. Instead of questioning me on my petition asking for free on-street parking on Sundays in the city centre, I was greeted by a barrage of abuse by some councillors trying to score political points. It was a shameful display and one councillor was forced to apologise in writing after I lodged a complaint.

Fast forward to this morning, two petitions were received to save a swimming pool at Ennerdale Leisure Centre in the city. One lady who presented a petition and spoke in favour of it mentioned that she was being supported by the opposition Liberal Democrats. For those councillors who are unable to differentiate between a member of the public and a colleague, it was open season. An ordinary member of the public concerned that her local swimming pool is about to be closed was jeered and then questioned on the tax and spending policies of the coalition government. Continue Reading

Leigh-on-Sea backs ‘Stamp Out Stamp Duty’
Sep 2013 18

TaxPayers’ Alliance supporters took to the streets of Leigh-on-Sea yesterday as part of our ‘Stamp Out Stamp Duty’ campaign. Our arrival had been telegraphed in advance by a radio broadcast on Heart Radio earlier that morning, so many of the people we spoke to knew we would be there.

The reception was fantastic, with many local residents expressing their disgust for a tax that makes the process of buying a home even more expensive. Local estate agents and businesses were also incredibly supportive.

“My son cannot afford a house of his own”, one concerned mother told me. “He works hard, and he’s left home, but all he can afford is a rental. I feel like he’s being punished for doing all the right things”. Continue Reading

Beware politicians bearing free lunches
Sep 2013 17

There is no such thing as free lunch, especially if it is handed to you by a politician. Nick Clegg, in an announcement during Lib Dem conference, has said all children in reception, year 1 and year 2 – pupils aged between five and seven – will be given hot lunches at school. This is a conference gimmick that is a misleading, but all too typical, attempt from politicians to wade in and pretend they are doing something about the pressure on the finances of struggling families by promising subsidies paid for with other people’s money. Sadly it seems like this policy has already been signed off by the Treasury and will cost taxpayers £600 million a year (you can bet that will rise as the scheme is inevitably expanded). Continue Reading

Plans scrapped for “Iconic Bridge”
Sep 2013 17

Last year we wrote about plans in Sunderland to build a so-called iconic bridge over the River Wear. Over the summer the dream finally came to an end. I say a dream, but many would say it was a pipe-dream and a nightmare, rolled into one.

If it had been built, it would have been England’s tallest bridge, standing at 187 metres, however the scheme was beset by problems from the start. Neither Northern Ireland-based contractor Graham or Vinci of France were able to submit a tender within the £118 million budget. Taxpayers, however, are still out of pocket to the tune of £11.1 million. Continue Reading

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