Thursday, April 24, 2003

Croydon Council 2003

Croydon CouncilI, like others living in Croydon, am less than impressed with the 27% increase in council tax being foisted upon us by our local “leaders”.

The leader of the council has expressed “disappointment” at the rise, and states “asking local people to pay a significant increase in council tax is the last thing the council wanted to do”. He then goes on to blame the government and the London mayor for the increase.

Well that makes it alright then doesn’t?

Forgive me “Dear Leader” if I beg to differ.

The role of any elected council is to manage the finances effectively and efficiently, and to minimise the impact of fiscal shocks on the local economy.

Where a source of revenue is significantly reduced (eg central government funding), it is your duty to make adjustments to the cost base. It is only the most cowardly kind of “weasel” who passes on responsibility for meeting the shortfall to others (in this case the local taxpayers/electorate).

Leadership brings with it both privileges and responsibilities. It is your responsibility to face the, albeit difficult, fact that you need to reduce the cost base. Your action in avoiding this responsibility (ie forcing the electorate to reduce their own personal cost base) has negated your right to hold office.

I have perused your council “propaganda sheet” (paid for by the electorate) and note the following increase in expenditure planned for 2004:

3.3 refuse
1.0 recycling
0.25 domiciliary care
0.18 safer roads
0.55 child support
0.5 road safety
0.15 contact centre

This represents 5.5% of the total tax bill for 2003. Cut these and you are on your way to negating the need to increase the council tax. Not too hard, is it?

Now get on with it, and do the job you were elected to do; or face electoral oblivion.