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Special expenses and the Stanley Turner Ground

On 18 Apr 2014 at 7:16pm Rob Williams wrote:
I wrote a letter to the Express over a week ago but have had no response, I think it was too long (Viva kindly wrote back saying it is too long for a web page).
Thought it would be good to publish it somewhere, so fill your boots if you are interested.

Check it out here »
On 18 Apr 2014 at 7:56pm Townie wrote:
Oh dear, i wondered what sort of people wrote in to that sort of S**t rag.
For christ sake Rob Williams, GET A LIFE
On 18 Apr 2014 at 8:14pm Country Boy wrote:
Yes, it is far too long.
On 18 Apr 2014 at 9:35pm Border Control wrote:
Fair point though ! Questions we can all ask, now we are paying.
On 18 Apr 2014 at 10:57pm well done wrote:
without special expenses, none of this would have come to light and you wouldn't have been able to challange it. Welcombe to the world of choice and knowledge, now get off your arses and get it sorted.
On 18 Apr 2014 at 11:42pm lewes resident wrote:
thank you for this information, yes the council are ripping us off. sickening.
On 19 Apr 2014 at 4:57am Deelite 2 wrote:
What a well presented letter. It's pretty clear a response is required. Will Lewes District Council respond? Is there a process for this sort of thing? Maybe you need a councillor to champion the cause for you?
On 19 Apr 2014 at 5:23am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Excellent letter!
I'm not surprised, I have to say. I'd like to see comparable accounts for all the other areas that we're paying special expenses for. If they're all being treated on the same basis, that would add up to a lot of money that we're being overcharged.
The mileage charge is just ludicrous.
On 19 Apr 2014 at 11:13am Southover Queen wrote:
I'm not surprised either. It's always been clear that the Special Expenses charge is just a ruse for raising our taxes above the 2% threshold without setting off the need for a referendum. Sports grounds are such an important DISTRICT provision and are clearly capable of generating income to support their upkeep. I'd like to know if the GOTR income has been taken into account for the Convent Field, personally, and indeed what provision there will be for reducing Lewes Town residents' council tax bills in the future once "Special Events" income is accounted for.

The whole thing is such a can of worms, and this letter makes that abundantly clear. I hope LDC is currently considering its options, now that the petition has reached the critical number necessary to force the issue to be debated once again.

Thank you for sharing this Rob: more grist to the mill.
On 19 Apr 2014 at 12:52pm Local Bod wrote:
We know our District Council is unreliable, and that just because they have done something doesn't make it fair, or even legal. Please pursue this.
Just look what Merlin has been uncovering for us on another thread about the County Council's invention of non-existent parking policies for reasons yet to be explained.
It is a shame other Councillors are failing to represent their electorate.
On 19 Apr 2014 at 3:05pm knownothing wrote:
Indeed Rob and well done for doing the research on this. Of course it is a back door way of increasing council tax- no question. The cricket club also is I know very frustrated by the water levels on the cricket outfield. Last season no play was possible on the cricket field until July. This year play will not be possible at the commencement of the season. There seems to be no other explanation for this than the proximity of Southern Water facility adjacent to the cricket area.They don't seem to accept blame or responsibility. Surely the ST trust and LDC have a duty to solve this problem by actively engaging with S Water or spending some of the apparent overcharge to Lewes residents to make the ground viable again? Lewes Priory CC and its facilities are a pale shadow of their illustrious past and this is due partly to the intransigence and inefficiency of the administration of the Trust and LDC.
On 19 Apr 2014 at 6:08pm Cllr Sarah Osborne wrote:
Dear Rob.
I have printed off your letter and will endeavour to get a response from officers to your suggestions.I and Cllr Stockdale are meeting officers at the end of the month specifically to discuss special expenses and I will present your letter at that meeting if not before.The Lib Dems voted against this special expenses policy at Full Council.I can post a reply later on here or you are welcome to contact me (info on LDC website) if you would like me to reply to you directly.
On 19 Apr 2014 at 6:16pm Rob Williams wrote:
Thanks for all your feedback, we will work as hard as we can on this issue and keep you posted.
On 19 Apr 2014 at 8:35pm Old Trout wrote:
Hello Rob,
Thanks for your post and the work you have put into researching this issue. I don't agree with the Special Expense policy for a number of reasons. But you raise a number of very important points that need to be addressed quickly and in depth. Thanks again for you work on an issue that effects all of our community.
On 19 Apr 2014 at 8:37pm John Stockdale wrote:
Rob, thanks for this. I fought hard against the principle of special expenses from July until we lost the vote in December. I queried the figures for the two trusts when the council tax precept was set in February because they looked inflated but I was told that they omitted a lot of items that should have been included like business rates. 15 minutes before the meeting started wasn't the time to try to unpick that. But, I've got it in my sights.
I too am a member of the Rugby Club (and I have followed the fortunes of the first team in its heroic attempt to stave off relegation). I think one option to look at would be for the Sports Club to bid for the transfer of the ST trusteeship. I don't know if there is a simple solution to the waterlogged cricket pitch. Can we speak sometime about this? My email is above and my phone is 476151.
On 19 Apr 2014 at 8:39pm John Stockdale wrote:
My email didn't print. It's john@plantpress.com
On 19 Apr 2014 at 11:43pm well done wrote:
special expenses hasnt made this a stealth tax, even when it was loaded accross the whole district the council were still ripping us off. special expenses has just made it visible. now its time for lewes, telscombe and newhaven to take action and stop the loading. it still doesnt mean everybody else in the district should pay for your stuff when they are already paying for theirs. LDC was adding over 400k to the bill, its about time the towns that dont pay directly sort their own bill. btw the lib dems created this surgarge, the tories just discovered it and made it transparent. now you know, sort it out!
On 20 Apr 2014 at 6:44am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
it's great to see our local councillors taking up this issue. I think detailed accounts for the Grange and all the other bits should be made available.
For all we know, the council officers could be charging mileage to cross Southover Road!
On 20 Apr 2014 at 8:27pm Mr Sin wrote:
And so the worms start to wriggle out of the can opened by 'lovable rogue' James Page. But isn't he a liberal democrat now? And John Stockdale too? I suspect they won't wriggle very far.
On 21 Apr 2014 at 12:03am Fairmeadow wrote:
If Lewes town council thinks the cost of maintaining it's playing fields, etc, is too high, then it can negotiate taking on the job itself, and do it cheaper. Probably not too challenging.
On 23 Apr 2014 at 5:19pm belladonna wrote:
I presume Rob that you have also sent this letter to LDC ? Would be very interested in their response. In the meanwhile - has the Argus picked up the issue? And a copy to private eye would also help....

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