Sunday, March 4, 2012

In the News and Crier there is a piece on HDC's Council Tax Hike. At 3.5% this means HDC is at the top of the league table. The first question is how much will this 3.5% actually raise. The sum is very easy. The Council Tax Base is 60125. Multiply the CTB by the rise of £4.34 increase and this gives the amount raised by this increase at: £260,943.

Now onto what Cllr Ablewhite says in the News and Crier:

The council set an increase of £ 4.34 on a Band D property, currently £124.17. Cllr Ablewhite said the charge would still be one of the lowest in the country and would help create stability in charges in the coming years. He said: “We are trying to get ourselves into a position in the next four years where we do not have a bigger gap then which could be an extra £1 million. I don't understand this!

Cllr Ablewhite said the increase meant they would be able to restore proposed cuts of £188,000 to voluntary sector funding, CCTV, adapting homes for the elderly and disabled (Not all elderly and disabled. Only for those entitled to this grant. Cost £1.2 million), frozen leisure centre prices (£150,000) and an investment in St Ives leisure centre (£3 million). All this spending equates to: £4,538,000. So by taxing us more by £260,943 HDC uses this money to spend £4.5 million. Something doesn't add up here!

The council was also in an area of rapid growth which had to be taken into account. True but how does this fact effect the District Council? HDC gets extra Council Tax for each new property.

Cllr Ablewhite said the Government grant was a one-off payment which would not affect base budgets and would lead to cuts in services when the grant ended. True, but that is also true of using Council reserves to prop up the budget. The Conservatives were very happy to do this and is the main problem behind their budget problems.

He said the challenge to the Government's stance was necessary in Huntingdonshire, adding: "I want to be a leader showing concise leadership and doing the right thing, not only for the council, but also for the people living here.”
Hmm... Challenging the Conservatives stance on their own promise for a two year Council Tax freeze and the coalition's similar promise. How are the people supposed to believe our local politicians when they can't even keep a promise kept by their national party?

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