On 15 Mar 2014 at 10:10am Matt Kent wrote:
So from getting the Council Tax Bill this morning, ESCC up 2%, Sussex Police up 2%, Sussex Fire up 1.9%, LDC down 10.6%, Special Expenses up 100% (new tax on Lewes, Newhaven and Telscombe Residents - lucky us), Lewes Town Council up 6.9%. Overall change is an inflation busting 4.8%. Looking forward to next years Historic Town Tax for living in a Historic County Town, maybe a River Tax for living near a river, how about a Bonfire Tax? Have the District ducked the need for a Council Tax referendum as the Town Council has been burdened more plus this pathetic wolf in sheepskin clothes, 'Special Expenses'. Maybe a Lewes Town Councillor can also clarify what the 6.9% increase was for within the Town Precept? Are the days of zero increase Council Tax bills now over?
On 15 Mar 2014 at 11:34am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
It's ridiculous, especially at a time when many people haven't had a pay rise for years.
Last year, Lewes had one of the highest council tax bills for a district council. Maybe they're trying to come top of the list.
I wouldn't object so much if we saw improvements in services, but we don't.
On 15 Mar 2014 at 11:53am Ed Can Do wrote:
I was under the impression any increase of more than 3% or so needed a public vote to pass, how have they got away with a 4.8% increase?
I feel a letter to the local government ombudsman coming on...
On 15 Mar 2014 at 12:43pm Matt Kent wrote:
LDC have claimed that their portion of the tax has not increased over 2%, hence no referendum. But why is 4.8% collectively acceptable?
On 15 Mar 2014 at 1:25pm mr right wrote:
well we know what to do. VOTE THEM OUT
On 15 Mar 2014 at 2:04pm Border Control wrote:
Well, what do you expect with three councils to support ? It's a gravy train !!
On 15 Mar 2014 at 2:57pm No pay rise for me wrote:
Why do the police and fire service need to put up their share?
Do we have more trouble or more fires or is it to pay their Pensions?
On 15 Mar 2014 at 3:16pm Dunk wrote:
Which open spaces does my £66 go towards- is it just the Grange and the Convent Field? I might go and charge admission to people from outside Lewes.
I have signed the petition and never voted Tory, and I don't have the balls to refuse to pay but is there anything else I can do to protest against this charge?
On 15 Mar 2014 at 3:28pm Matt Kent wrote:
Maybe there should be a small charge for access to Lewes' Public Open Spaces to residents that don't live in Lewes, given that 'Special Expenses' are gifted to the residents of Lewes that have to now pay for such public spaces in our Town. This Tory tax concept is supposed to be 'fairer'. Frankly it's madness and illogical. Where next eh?
On 15 Mar 2014 at 3:36pm Napoleon XIV wrote:
The open space that is too close for comfort is the space between Donna Edmunds' ears.
Petition to object to this new tax is still OPEN so please sign
Check it out here »
On 15 Mar 2014 at 4:05pm thinker wrote:
Could we organise a mass refusal? This increase is immoral and illogical....?
On 15 Mar 2014 at 4:30pm Another Voter wrote:
Just vote the whole bloody district council out! Can someone pass a motion of no confidence? This is not what I signed up for and this all stinks of horse$h!t.
On 15 Mar 2014 at 4:35pm Sparky wrote:
On the downs at the back of Nevill estate by the reservoir they have just completed extending the field by probably no more than 1/2 acre. A neighbour told me it cost £48k to do. I'm sure all that extra space will please the sheep & show us council tax payers the "special expenses are being well spent".
On 15 Mar 2014 at 6:34pm Tipex wrote:
Yes Lewes is the only town trying to exist in a micro recession. No other town, District or County council in the western world is struggling at present. All the money raised from council tax goes on local government employees free parking and colossal salaries. Scientists confirmed this week that the moon is indeed made of cheese.
On 15 Mar 2014 at 8:48pm Puzzled wrote:
With the exception of Ed, most of you seem reasonably intelligent. Why is it so difficult for you to understand such a basic concept? All the towns and parishes except Telscombe, Newhaven and Lewes paid completely for their own open spaces AND then subsidised the aforementioned. As you will see, this subsidy cost everybody 10%. Now everybody pays for their own, simple. An alternative to make it more fair might have been for the district to pick up all of the other non subsidised T&Ps open spaces costs but Lewes, Newhaven and Telscome Tax would have still gone up and the others would have gone down. Only problem with that would be the continued lack of transparency and disparity of service offering, so still unfair. Now try and think clearly, if you in the towns find the cost too great, now you have the opertuntiy to do 2 things. 1, you could take them on and run them yourselves as other T&Ps do or 2, now knowing the costs you could encourage LDC and LTC to provide facilities at a level and price you are prepared to pay, at least then you won't be spending other peoples money when they have no say. You geniuses do know these are not statutory service obligations? I do suspect though that enlightenment on these issues will not curb your garalous twaddle, as your main aim is council bashing. As usuall, faceless cowards adding to peoples fear and unhappiness without understanding the issues or offering solutions. Great work, well done, you must be so proud!
On 15 Mar 2014 at 9:06pm Matt Kent wrote:
Faceless? Who are you 'Puzzled'?
On 15 Mar 2014 at 9:17pm Puzzled wrote:
Apologies to you on the faceless bit, you are real and have done, unlike the other less functional people on this forum. Anyway, do you now understand or have you actually got a solution?
On 15 Mar 2014 at 9:39pm Matt Kent wrote:
The status quo in the District has been, you all live in the District, and you can all potentially use the Districts facilities in one way or another, so you all pay the same Council Tax. Now 'open spaces' seem to be an exclusive financial burden to the residents of Lewes, Newhaven and Telscombe, and nobody else, irespective of individual use. Should residents who are house bound in Lewes have to pay 'Special Expenses' for open spaces? Are there other 'Special Expenses' on the horizon? Will we see residents in the more rural parts of the District pay a 'Recycling Tax' because recycling vehicles have to travel further and use more energy or fuel per household? No. Those households pay the same taxes towards recycling and household waste collection like the other residents who live in larger communities. So, yes, I do understand, and no, its a ridiculous idea that should be reconsidered by its councillors in six months time when the motion can be revisited and challenged. The current system that is distributed across the District, I believe is the solution. 'Special Expenses', is unfair, unjustified, illogical and divisive between communities. There are just as many, if not more people living in poverty in Lewes then some people think, so the extra 4.8% increase is not welcome. And this is at a time when Council Tax arrears across England are at an all time high!
On 15 Mar 2014 at 10:10pm Robert Plant wrote:
Puzzled is James Page. He always sounds the same, aggressive, bullying, patronising, condescending, rude and arrogant. And latterly he seems to have got a bee in his bonnet about Ed Can Do too.
I think I am going to refuse to pay my Council tax for as long as practically possible.
On 15 Mar 2014 at 10:12pm Southover Queen wrote:
Not just recycling tax... Public transport subsidies to rural communities; the costs of collecting refuse; transport to school: there are *all* kinds of extra costs borne by the whole community so that people can live off the beaten track. I don't have kids to send to school. Perhaps I should withhold that bit... And I think the Police Commissioner is a stunning waste of money.
So yes, I do understand. I do indeed.
On 15 Mar 2014 at 10:23pm Puzzled wrote:
You clearly don't understand! The other service you speak of is a prescribed service, it is not eligible to be special expensed, only non statutory services. LDC offer no other non statutory services, well other than graveyards I think. Back to the substantive point, your premise is that because for a long time the larger part of the district has been subsidising 3 towns it should keep doing it, regardless of service disparity, transparity and fairness? Further, you really think that if somebody tries to restore it to the old way that 70% of the district will happily pay 10% more just for 3 towns when they already pay for their own service. It's a shame you are a Lewes resident, it makes it hard to believe your view isn't self serving. If you were from one of the towns that already paid for their own and no longer had to pay for Lewes, how would you feel then?
On 15 Mar 2014 at 10:34pm Puzzled wrote:
SQ, you clearly don't. All the stuff you're talking about can't be special expensed and also have nothing to do with LDC, try and stay on point love. Yep that's me, what plant are you? A vegetable I suspect. You lot on here need patronising because you behave like petulant little children. As for the other qualities you ascribe to me, they are probably a combination of transference and projection, have a little look in the mirror dear.
On 15 Mar 2014 at 10:36pm Puzzled wrote:
Oh yeah, forgot, Ed's a spindles pussy, get him to give me a ring.
On 15 Mar 2014 at 10:46pm Matt Kent wrote:
As I mentioned before 'Puzzled', as Lewesians have to bare the brunt of paying for the upkeep of 'their' open public spaces, maybe non-Lewes residents should be charged accordingly. Not fair though is it? I obviously don't actually agree with the hypothesis above, but I don't agree, along with many other Lewes, Newhaven and Telscombe residents, that the whole idea is ridiculously unfair. Maybe someone could explain why 'Special Expenses' have been introduced now and not say, three years ago when the Tories got hold of LDC?
On 15 Mar 2014 at 10:57pm lewes resident wrote:
bring back the poll tax, much better system.
On 15 Mar 2014 at 11:01pm Puzzled wrote:
Probably because other more important things were being worked on and probably because the asset record keeping was so dire it took a while expose the dirty little secret. Why do you think it came up now, what evil motive do you give to its timing?
On 16 Mar 2014 at 5:36am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Are swimming pools a statutory service? Could they be "special expensed"?
On 16 Mar 2014 at 5:43am Zebedee wrote:
James, was it LDCs very own 'dirty little secret'? How do parks and gardens work in other local authorities? Do they too use 'Special Expenses' to apportion cost by area, or is Lewes alone in not having long ago delegated the responsibility to parish councils?
How do you think the overall cost of maintaining LDC parks and gardens will be effected by forcing each parish council to become responsible for their own resources. Overall, will they go up or down?
Is there any mechanism whereby parish councils could subsidise the costs of maintenance by charging entry to those outside their area?
On 16 Mar 2014 at 7:36am thinker wrote:
I think though I may be wrong that this whole debacle has come about because of issues naively raised by certain councilors. If so, they had no idea what they were about to unleash. ... but perhaps that's not an excuse.
On 16 Mar 2014 at 8:47am Another Voter wrote:
Whats the 'dirty little secret' at LDC that Puzzled is going on about?
On 16 Mar 2014 at 9:01am Southover Queen wrote:
My points stand; rural communities cost considerably more to maintain than do urban ones. The fact that the extra burden is carried by the broader community and is protected by law is right and proper and is how taxation is meant to work.
I shan't resort to insults either: that's the response of someone whose argument is bankrupt.
On 16 Mar 2014 at 9:51am Peasant wrote:
Ringmer Green costs quite a bit to maintain, and that cost is, and always has been, born by Ringmer residents. We don't have immigration checks on users. We do charge Lewes bonfire societies a small sum if they want to hire it, just as AFC Ringmer are charged to play their matches in Lewes.
Lewes residents would have a much stronger case for asking for car parking revenues to be treated in the same way. Lewes town generates a lot of income that way, which all goes to the District as a whole (or to the County for on-street parking). Parking elsewhere in the District is free or cheap.
There isn't anything you can do about this situation at the ballot box. The councillors who decided it don't live in Lewes or represent Lewes - mostly Conservatives voted in by other electors.
On 16 Mar 2014 at 10:08am John Stockdale wrote:
Good question, Matt.
@Ed, the threshold for a referendum is 2% or over. That's why ESCC, Fire and Police have gone by 1.99%. Lewes Town Council's 6.9% increase isn't subject to a referendum because LTC is a parish. Because of the threat of a referendum next year, the Council voted to increase its precept by £42,000 above the service budget to raise the threshold in case they are 'capped' next year. (Some of us voted against that.)
@Matt, LDC have a 0% increase (for which they get a 1% government subsidy), in their monetary total. But the allocation is adjusted by special expenses.
@Dunk, there is a list of open spaces somewhere on the LDC website. I can't find it for the moment. Sparky, I didn't know about the alleged £48k spend on Landport Bottom and I will enquire.
@Puzzled, Almost all the open spaces were transferred to the District 40 years ago, along with buildings and car parks etc. Seaford asked for its parks to be devolved to STC and Lib Dem controlled LDC voluntarily devolved Seaford Head Golf Club to offset the cost. I gather Seaford has found operating the parks wasn't quite as cheap as they expected. The other assets considered for special expenses were public loos, cemeteries and redundant churchyards.
@Peasant, yes if LDC returned our car parks and some of the buildings they took over in 1974, special expenses would more bearable.
Local government administrative areas are drawn pretty arbitrarily and it is not possible to pick and choose what services you want to subscribe to. I can sit in a public park in London without making a contribution to its expenses and I can use my bus pass anywhere in England (but not Scotland or Wales) with the charge passed to the local council. And vice versa. You win some and you lose some. But this very selective special expense regime IMO is grossly unfair.
On 16 Mar 2014 at 10:27am simon wrote:
Thesr open spaces were I believe given to the people many years ago. Would they not have had covenants to ensure free access? This charge is breaking the spirit of that at least.
On 16 Mar 2014 at 11:00am lewes resident wrote:
is the whole of Lewes paying this extra charge or just certain areas.?
On 16 Mar 2014 at 8:20pm Another Voter wrote:
Time for a merger of all the local authorities then! Bring back Lewes Borough Council. A Unitary Authority should sort out all these issues once and for all.
On 16 Mar 2014 at 8:32pm bonzo wrote:
Lewes resident: the charges apply to the whole of Lewes.
On 16 Mar 2014 at 8:37pm Peasant wrote:
A unitary authority would be likely to be based in Hailsham, and cover Wealden as well as Lewes. Be careful what you wish for!