Change of ownership for level playing field

PUBLISHED: 11:37 02 March 2006 | UPDATED: 14:36 12 May 2010

A COUNCILLOR has suggested offering town council-owned land to East Herts District Council because of concern over double taxation. Since 1972 Buntingford has owned its own playing fields and playground equipment because it is not an urban area and as a r

A COUNCILLOR has suggested offering town council-owned land to East Herts District Council because of concern over double taxation. Since 1972 Buntingford has owned its own playing fields and playground equipment because it is not an urban area and as a result residents are being charged twice - by the town council and indirectly by the district council through Council Tax. Cllr Pat Whittaker told a town council meeting on Thursday: "This has been an issue for the past 12 years. "It may be worth considering that the district council takes over the playing fields in Norfolk Road. "We're the only town in East Herts that has got its own playing fields, and it concerns me. "But if the district council took the land back people would only have to pay once." Cllr Whittaker claimed that thousands of pounds would have to be spent on replacing playground equipment. Three years ago the town council spent £60,000 on providing a safety surface and replacing equipment. Cllr Sanjit Basra said the town council should keep the facilities and the land. He said the Norfolk Road Playing Fields were "a very valuable asset". "It's a changing world and if you give it up now and your circumstances change tomorrow it will be a foolish thing to do. "It might cost us a bit now, but it could make a lot of money in the future. "Policies also change and if the district council took over the playing fields there is a possibility in the future that it would build on the land. "We don't want that because it looks nice to have open spaces." A district council spokesman said: "We have been in dialogue with the town council for some time and it is aware of our position. "The town council owns the land and facilities which means it's up to them to maintain it. If it was to give us ownership we would take over maintenance.

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