With a spread in the local press about the launch and a brand new website now in place, it’s no wonder the new Worcester branch of the TaxPayers’ Alliance is already going from strength to strength!
Since being introduced on the 21st April, the founding activists of this new spin-off of the WMTPA have certainly made their presence felt in the Worcestershire area, and they’re meeting again tomorrow to discuss how to progress the campaign in the area.
The first success of the campaign came with a splash in the local Worcester News, with ex-NHS nurse Doug Langdon’s excellent comments to the press:
The 60-year-old said: "People need to take an interest in what is going on and need to feel they can have a say."I get pamphlets from Wychavon District Council particularly
when council tax forms come out and they are self-praising.
"I am not saying Wychavon is not one of the best run local authorities in the country, that may well be the case, but people should keep an eye on it so we are not lulled into a false sense of security."
The article certainly sparked some interest, with two new members expressing their support for the branch and requesting that they be kept up to date with any action days or events. All in all, a great profile-raiser for the campaign.
Not long after this article was published activist John Church started drafting the Worcester branch website, which is now up-and-running and will no doubt fill up with content over the coming months. It’d be great to see some lively debates in the forum! You can access the Worcester branch website by clicking the link on the right or clicking here will take you straight to it. I think you’ll agree that it’s coming along very nicely indeed!
The third success of this branch came in the shape of a meeting, requested by the leader of Wychavon District Council, who clearly wanted to see what this group was all about after reading Doug’s comments in the paper.
On Wednesday morning Doug went along to the council and was met by not only the leader, but also his deputy. Armed with knowledge of the area (Wychavon is Doug’s own council) and the TaxPayers’ Alliance Council Spending Series, he was able to discuss what the Worcester branch is in place to do, as well as take them to task on some of their extravagances.
They were quick to defend throwing taxpayers’ cash at the publication and delivery of numerous glossy leaflets and were dismissive of the alternatives, such as using the local newspaper, even asking, “why should we assist commercial enterprise?”! Though apparently it’s fine to channel funds in the direction of designers and printers…
They said they felt they had staffing to an absolute minimum, despite our Middle Management Pay paper showing that in the years 1996/7 and 2001/2 they’d steadily employed three people on over £50k-per-year at a cost of £185,000, but sometime between 2002 and 2006 the number employed jumped to eight and the cost of their salaries trebled to £560,000. That hardly sounds like bare minimum.
On pensions they kept schtum. An interesting reaction and something well worth remembering from this great opportunity to engage with the leaders of one of the local authorities.
Well done Doug for flying the flag – The Worcester TaxPayers’ Alliance have clearly got them rattled already!
And of course, big well done to all those involved. All this in just over two weeks – onwards and upwards Worcester!
If anyone is from the Worcester area and similarly fed-up with the burden of increased taxation and sick of witnessing the money taken from them going to waste, then do please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll put you in touch with the branch.