Objecting to relentless year-on-year increases

PUBLISHED: 12:09 25 January 2007 | UPDATED: 14:59 12 May 2010

FOLLOWING the report in The Crow (Members rebel on prudent budget, January 18) alongside the Opinion, Counting the costs, I would like to respond to some of the comments made. The story draws the conclusion that the reason five councillors refused to ba

FOLLOWING the report in The Crow (Members rebel on 'prudent' budget, January 18) alongside the Opinion, Counting the costs, I would like to respond to some of the comments made.

The story draws the conclusion that the reason five councillors refused to back the proposed increase in Royston Town Council's precept was due to the increase in the costs of running the Royston Museum.

This is simply untrue.

What I object to is the relentless year-on-year increases to Council Tax for which there are no identifiable improvements in service.

I have no issue in approving increases if they relate to better services, however, no such improvements were proposed.

I further take issue with the Opinion that as the increase only equates to £27.97 a year for a Band D property, any opposition is merely "nit-picking".

I am sure to you, such a sum does not sound much, but try telling the already overburdened pensioners and working families in the town that they must find yet more money to satisfy the voracious appetite of local government and see what they think.

I suspect that, if printable, the responses would not be in agreement with you.

Finally, I find it surprising that the Opinion does not wholeheartedly support such discussions as being part of the democratic process, particularly when the editor decried the absence of discussion at a previous full meeting of the council on his blog on The Crow website.

I suspect the press reports would have been equally unfavourable if all councillors had simply nodded the budget through unopposed.

Each of the councillors are elected to serve their constituents and reflect their views.

If they believe that those views run counter to any proposals made, they should be able to oppose them openly without fear of being accused of "nit-picking".

As far as I am concerned, I consider my opposition to the budget to have been part of the normal operation of the council as I was merely voicing concerns of my constituents.

Anything less would mean that I am not doing the job I was elected to do.

Cllr PAUL GRIMES

Meridian ward

Royston Town Council

I FIND it difficult to know exactly what you meant us to learn from your Opinion (The Crow, January 18).

Do we gather that insufficient thought and preparation was given to the town council budget?

It is inconceivable that such a large percentage of the precept is going to the museum, which at the risk of stepping on the toes of the Royston establishment, is hardly a crowd puller and, in its present form, a necessity.

Cllr Mayne seeks to console us that the budget increase amounts to only 4p a week.

Perhaps we could ask him to use the same methodology to tell us how much an hour it costs to keep the museum open and how much it costs per visitor? (excluding school children).

It beggars belief that, with all the new properties being built in Royston and the unchanging role of the council, that the precept is increased once again.

JOHN PETERS

Green Drift, Royston

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