Council needs to prove its worth
A HIKE in council tax should be justified in two ways. A council should explain what it did with the last batch of public money available to it and it should outline in detail its plans for the year ahead and why the rise is necessary. These arguments may
A HIKE in council tax should be justified in two ways.
A council should explain what it did with the last batch of public money available to it and it should outline in detail its plans for the year ahead and why the rise is necessary.
These arguments may not convince everybody, but it's a start.
The last thing a council should do is go on the defensive from the off, but that is the way some Letchworth councillors have reacted to my recent story about Letchworth town council's proposed 300 per cent increase in its budget for the next financial year.
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Councillor Mick Bee wrote to The Comet and defended the council's increase by saying the amount it was asking Letchworth residents to pay next year was not as much as other town councils were asking their residents for.
Letchworth taxpayers are not concerned with how much people in Flitwick and Sandy pay. They are only concerned with how much they will pay.
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The council should concern itself less with what other councils are doing and more with what its own town needs.
And it's not just this councillor with a bee in his bonnet.
In mayor Philip Ross' statement on the council's website he says "to any potential criticism from North Herts councillors I would say..."
Wait until they criticise you, Philip, don't go on the defensive before they have even done it!
I have a lot of respect for some councillors in Letchworth, but they need to do more to make people warm to them.
One such way is to publish their contact details online. Do Letchworth residents even know how or where to contact their councillors?
The second thing would be to put the breakdown of next year's budget online, then residents can see for themselves why the council needs the 300 per cent hike.