Lord Porter? Chairman of the Local Goverment Association has just said that Council Tax is no business of government and Councils should be able to set whatever charge they think fit,now for the best bit “in consultation with their residents”
If he isn’t already in a parallel universe perhaps the nut job in N Korea might like to attach him to his next missile launch.
Just put the dopey prick on a zero hours contract for a year then see what he has to say,sometimes you think you have heard all the crap that emanates from these quangoistas gobs,they never let you down.
You is right. The thieving twats have given councils the go-ahead to rake in more money which will go straight into councillors' wallets/purses/bank accounts. Notice that there's no comment about monitoring how the money's spent. "Another triple brandy, Roger?"
Bricks are thrown through windows and cars vandalised amid fury as town council hikes tax 400 PER CENT... before all ten ruling Tories quit
Tory councillors faced a backlash after their slice of council tax went up by £77
The chair of the town council in Desborough, Northamptonshire, stood down
Jane Pearce quit but allegedly had a brick thrown through her patio window
Her Conservative colleagues also quit saying she had been hounded from office
By Andy Dolan for the Daily Mail
Published: 22:00, 2 February 2018 | Updated: 09:17, 3 February 2018
Jane Pearce stood down as chairman of Desborough Town Council following a backlash against a proposed tax rise
When the council tax shot up by 400 per cent, local passions rose accordingly.
But the war of words that shattered the calm middle England town of Desborough then boiled over into something far uglier.
Now, amid claims of bricks through windows, children being targeted and cars being vandalised, the ten-strong ruling group of Tory councillors has quit.
They were hit by a backlash after putting up their slice of the borough’s council tax bill by £77 – 400 per cent.
That led to chairman Jane Pearce standing down before last month’s town council meeting – prompting whoops of delight from dozens of residents in the public gallery.
Mrs Pearce allegedly had a brick thrown through her patio window, while other incidents saw cars belonging to the council clerk and other councillors damaged and abusive clips posted on social media. Mrs Pearce’s husband and young children are also said to have been affected by the abuse.
Following the chairman’s decision, colleagues Ray Brooks and Allan Matthews also quit, prompting the remaining seven Tories on the Northamptonshire authority to follow suit.
In a letter of resignation, they said mother-of-three Mrs Pearce had been hounded from office.
The letter said: ‘We deplore the unpleasantness, rudeness, abuse and bullying which Jane has endured and to which we, ourselves, have also been subject. Vigorous political debate over issues of substance conducted in a civil manner is one thing. But personal abuse, intimidation and threats is quite another.’
Mrs Pearce, who was elected in 2011, did not return requests for comment yesterday. But she has told her local radio station that, ‘with hindsight we perhaps should have sent out some kind of warning’ that the council levy on the tax bills would rise from £19.10 to £96.98. Mrs Pearce, 43, said she had been ‘shocked by the ferocity’ of the reaction.
‘My husband’s taken abuse on Facebook’, she added. ‘I’ve had comments made to my eldest child who’s only 15. I’ve had people try to stop children playing with my nine-year-old daughter.
‘They didn’t ask for that and they don’t deserve that.’
Eamon Gilbey, one of two independents who made up the rest of Desborough council, whose overall council tax is levied by Kettering borough council, said the abuse had been ‘astonishing’.
Conservative councillors were hit by a backlash after putting up their slice of the borough’s council tax bill by £77 – 400 per cent
He added: ‘Jane was a fantastic councillor who is totally dedicated to Desborough. But we have had up to 50 or 60 people attending meetings and, whenever the clerk stood up to speak, he would be screamed and shouted at. The clerk and the council assistant have both spoken of feeling threatened. When people start to make threats or dragging councillors’ children into things then it moves to a whole new level of outrageous behaviour.’
Mr Gilbey said meetings were videoed, with clips posted on social media. ‘On some of these clips, threats or abusive comments have been made to councillors or staff. Some have been passed to police to see if any crimes have been committed.’
But resident Karen Harrop said: ‘When residents have tried to speak (at meetings) we have been told we can’t, they’ve tried to throw people out and they’ve called the police. They refuse point-blank to answer any questions if they don’t like them. We’re not the bullying ones.’
Northamptonshire Police said it was ‘made aware of allegations relating to the alleged bullying and harassment of a number of councillors last week’.
Tories - the party of low taxes! They should have a look at the number of councillors and the expenses they incur. But they won't. Why does Havering have 54 councillors? Because it always has had? Why not reduce the number to 2 per ward for starters? Starting with Mylod.
"But resident Karen Harrop said: ‘When residents have tried to speak (at meetings) we have been told we can’t, they’ve tried to throw people out and they’ve called the police. They refuse point-blank to answer any questions if they don’t like them. We’re not the bullying ones."
Good post. Councillors are there to serve the community and they get bloody well-paid for the job. And no-one forces them to do it. Many of them are arrogant wankers who think they know it all and regard tax-payers as a nuisance. And then there are the Mylods of this world who get elected on a residents' mandate and then jump ship when it suits them without seeking re-election. There's no need for them to wonder why they're regarded as shitbags.
A lesson in caution indeed,in my opinion people all over the country are saying “enough is enough” regarding being rode over roughshod regarding genuine concerns over local issues,not least the amount of them and how deep they can get their snouts in the trough.
They need to start listening and taking some serious cognisance of peoples objections or this may not be the only occurrence.
The House of Lords? would do well to think before it acts as well,Remain LOST petals.
Revealed: How dozens of UK council officials spent tens of thousands of pounds at alcohol-soaked Cannes property conference while bills continue to rise for residents
At least nine councils used public money to send officials to sunny Cannes event
Dozens of council officials spent three days at annual conference on the Riviera
Croydon council spent £14,488 to send chief executive Jo Negrini to Cannes
By Glen Keogh In Cannes For The Daily Mail
Published: 22:58, 16 March 2018 | Updated: 23:18, 16 March 2018
Councils spent tens of thousands of pounds sending delegates to an alcohol-soaked property jamboree on the French Riviera.
Dozens of town hall officials, including those from some of Britain’s most deprived boroughs, spent three days in the sunshine at the annual Mipim conference in Cannes.
It comes as householders across the country are receiving council tax bills showing the steepest rises for 14 years, which are being blamed on Government cuts.
The annual MIPIM property conference in Cannes where council officials enjoyed sea front hospitality in the sunshine for three days
Some councils were sponsored to attend, but at least nine used public money to send officials – prompting accusations that they were enjoying a ‘taxpayer-funded jolly’.
The real number could be much higher as 34 bodies failed respond to the Daily Mail’s requests for information.
One MP called for an inquiry, saying it ‘beggared belief’ that money was spent sending councillors and staff to ‘schmooze with the property developing elite’ rather than going on essential services.
Some councils were sponsored by property developers to send delegates but at least nine used public money to send officials to Cannes
The Department for International Trade also sent delegates but a spokesman refused to say if it was a taxpayer-funded trip.
Mipim is the world’s largest property conference, where leaders of the real estate sector including lawyers, agents, bankers and landlords network on a sea of champagne.
Labour-run Croydon council spent £14,488 to send chief executive Jo Negrini and two officials to this week’s event, including flights, accommodation and passes.
The three-day, sun-soaked conference on the Riviera opened with a champagne reception and had an unlimited supply of alcohol
They manned a beachfront stall in a large area alongside other boroughs dedicated to luring investment to London. Free alcohol, including wine and beers, was served by waiters at the London section of the conference and there was free bar from midday.
Croydon Council recently announced council tax rises of 5 per cent, blaming the increase on Government cuts.
Shropshire Council confirmed they spent almost £20,000 of public money taking two delegates to the event, which included flights, hotels and ‘promotional films and marketing material’.
Southampton City Council spent £4,420 sending two senior staff. The Labour council is raising council tax by almost 6 per cent.
Mipim is the world’s largest property conference and sees leaders of the real estate sector including lawyers, agents, bankers and landlords come together
Conservative-held Solihull in the West Midlands sent its leader and deputy leader at a cost of £9,000 to the public purse. The trip comes after Solihull announced a 3.9 per cent council tax rise from April, blaming adult social care costs and other pressures.
Wychavon District Council in Worcestershire used £850 of taxpayers’ money to send a council officer, plus unspecified accommodation costs.
Luton Council paid for three attendees with public money, and Leicestershire County Council and Newcastle City Council also said that council staff trips were part-funded from taxpayers’ cash.
Some of the delegates, including one very glamorous woman, are pictured taking a break from the property conference
Lib Dem MP and local government spokesman Wera Hobhouse said: ‘It beggars belief that some council members are attending this plush property conference. We need a full inquiry into whether council taxpayers’ money has been spent on tickets to this event.
‘We don’t want to tar all councils with the same brush, but with council taxes set to rise considerably this April, it would be difficult to understand why councillors need to schmooze with the property developing elite.’
James Price, of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: ‘I’m sure Cannes is lovely at this time of year, but that doesn’t mean so many councillors should be jetting off on a taxpayer-funded jolly.
‘They should have to prove beyond doubt that the cost of the trip was justified in the investment they attracted.’
At least nine councils used public money, including Shropshire Council who confirmed they spent almost £20,000 taking two delegates to the event
Many other councils funded their trips through private sponsorship from large investment firms. Other publicly funded bodies such as the Department for International Trade also attended.
All delegates were treated to an unlimited supply of free alcohol and canapes with numerous cocktail parties taking place once the sun set. A welcome reception featured champagne on arrival, stilt walkers and a live band.
Prostitutes were touting for business around the venue, saying they attend every year ‘to make a lot of money’. There is no suggestion that council staff or other British delegates or Mipim endorsed prostitutes.
The British government also had a hospitality tent at the property conference, in an attempt to attract investors
Dozens of delegates are pictured enjoying the stunning sunshine and beautiful sea front views during the three-day property conference
Shropshire Council said: ‘The event offered the opportunity to take Shropshire to an international audience.’
Southampton Council said: ‘This was paid for by council funds. We do not consider it appropriate to accept sponsorship from developers or private companies that we are in discussions with. We had a number of successful meetings with potential investors from China, Australia, Sweden and UK.’
Solihull Council said it attended to ‘raise the profile of the investment opportunities within the borough on an international stage.’
The Local Government Association, which speaks for councils, said: ‘International property conferences can provide the platform for councils to attract the investment into their local communities.’
Shropshire Council said: ‘The event offered the opportunity to take Shropshire to an international audience.’
This is what I meant in another post about many councils losing their way. "Taking Shropshire to an international audience"?? Monty Python stuff. Many of our councillors and senior officers just don't get it. Maybe someone will have to teach them the error of their ways.
Havering council tax bills higher than Westminster’s, study shows
PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 March 2018
Jon King Romford Recorder
A third of council tax payers in Havering are paying one of the capital's highest charges. Picture: KEN MEARS
Havering has one of the lowest average house prices but householders are paying one of the highest council tax rates in the capital, according to a study.
Rainham and Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas attacked the council. Picture: parliamentlive.tv
The annual charge for a Band D property in Havering – where the average house price in 2017 was £330,000 – is £1,598, which includes the slice taken by London mayor Sadiq Khan to pay for transport, fire and police services. The fourth highest rate in London.
This compares to Westminster where the average house price is £990,000. It has the lowest council tax charge of £688 per year in Band D.
Prices in Westminster are triple what they are in Havering but people are paying more than double the amount of council tax, the report shows.
It adds 64 per cent of Havering Council’s core spending power will be reliant on the tax this year. Householders in a Band D property paid £389 when council tax was first introduced in 1993. They now pay £1,318, excluding the mayor’s share. This is a rise of 239pc, putting the borough in the top five behind Kingston upon Thames’s 292pc rise over the same period.
Cllr Roger Ramsey said comparing Havering to Barking and Dagenham was 'unfair'. Picture: SUBMITTED
Havering has 34pc of bill payers living in Band D properties.
The findings come from a report drawn up by left wing think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research which has led calls for the tax, worked out using 1991 property values, to be made fairer.
Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas said: “Local authorities are responsible for setting council tax rates, and it is no coincidence costs are soaring in Tory-led Havering – they have consistently ramped up council tax year on year and it is hitting families across the borough.
“On the flip side Labour-led Barking and Dagenham froze council tax for seven years to help the most financially vulnerable. It is only now having to increase council tax because of harrowing cuts to council funding, delivered by an austerity driven Tory government,” he added.
MP Julia Lopez said the government is reviewing council tax. Picture: APRIL ROACH
But Havering leader Cllr Roger Ramsey hit back accusing Mr Cruddas of “punching below the belt”.
He argued it was “unfair” to compare Havering to Barking and Dagenham which gets more government funding meaning it can set a lower council tax rate.
“[Mr Cruddas] needs to brush up on the true position so he can do the best for his residents in Rainham,” Cllr Ramsey said.
He added it would not be feasible to predict whether the tax would rise in the future but that the council strives every year to make the lowest change it can while meeting rising demand for services.
Cllr Ramsey disagreed with the IPPR saying the “real unfairness” over council tax was not that it hit the poorest hardest, but its impact on the average family.
Hornchurch and Upminster MP Julia Lopez said: “The disparity of grant councils receive from central government, particularly when contrasting inner and outer London boroughs, means places like Havering have far less room to manoeuvre in setting council tax.
“I pledged to raise this pressing issue when I got elected in June, and I have seen that promise through by lobbying for change in meetings with ministers, and through speeches and questions in parliament.
“Havering has had the fastest growing number of children in any borough for the past three years, and we also have a substantial elderly population with high social care needs. This places a lot of pressure on local budgets, and consequently local taxpayers.
“The government understands the current situation needs reform, and is undertaking the fairer funding review to look at introducing a system that better reflects the pressure on areas like Havering.
“I have been working very closely with the council’s leadership to make sure that Havering’s voice is heard at the highest quarters in this process,” she added.