It’s time for discretion

IN response to Cllr Terry Hone s letter (Postbag, February 21), I read with interest the formula applied to calculate the rates payable by local businesses. All very interesting. However, I can t help but feel that this is selective non-responsibility; s

IN response to Cllr Terry Hone's letter (Postbag, February 21), I read with interest the formula applied to calculate the rates payable by local businesses.

All very interesting. However, I can't help but feel that this is selective non-responsibility; something that councils, local authorities and government now use on a regular basis, and does nothing to assist the plight that today's Royston faces.

Firstly, we have a situation where local government blames central government. This sounds like a "cheap shot". Having worked for plc's with subsidiary companies in the private sector, when company policy changes, the message is carried to the consumer as a united front.

Like the desicions or not, the consumer is left with no doubt that the overall company is run correctly.

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In the private sector any deviation from the collective policy or particularly condemnation of the overall decision would be dealt with severly, due to the unprofessional impression it would create of any organization.

So forgive me for not getting my facts right, but most members of a community do not recognise the difference between local or central policy, the end result is the same.

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To simply blame another part of the same organisation does little to appease. In fact, it highlights disparity and discontent within its own ranks.

Secondly, the councillors who choose to deflect any criticism would do well to think in a more progressive manner, and apply discretion to areas within their control that would create a more positive environment for town centre-users.

To demand full rateable value from an empty shop does only one thing - it ensures that the district council and subsequently Government has more money in its financial portfolio.

It is no secret that government organisations, both local and central, that shape our communities are now being run with commercial goals in mind.

So leaping out of the local council bunker and deflecting the blame on central government on this issue is futile in the eyes of this community member.

Is it not better to begin dealing with the real issues here? Please explain why large corporate entities have the seas parted for them when inappropriate developments are rushed through with the full consent of the district council while small businesses in Royston town centre are constantly squeezed even harder.

Are we not to know that the only goal in mind is to devalue the retail area and property value to make way for more blocks of flats?

Up until this point the only measures that have been taken to revitalise the town, have come from the shop owners themselves, who now have to offer to pay the ever-increasing parking charges directly back to their consumers. Is this not an area where the district council could have applied some discretion without interference from Government?

NICK ADAMS, Kneesworth Street, Royston

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