A ‘slap in the face for hard pressed taxpayers’

Just as figures show that inflation and unemployment is down, interest rates are set to remain at an all time low and at last, take home pay is rising, you would think it would give a bit of a feel good factor.

Not if you live in Cramlington, you’d be dead wrong because the Labour run Cramlington Town Council have delivered a massive kick in the teeth to residents by demanding a rise in council tax of a whopping 156 per cent from last year.

That’s right 156 per cent. What for? To fund a partnership with Northumberland County Council for at least the next five years. They want £780,000 a year from us.

This should already be partly catered for with the taxes paid to the county council, but they say they are unable to provide this service. Hence a partnership with the town council.

This to me is double taxation for the same service paid for twice.

It will be no surprise to many that the bulk of this tax will be raised from the Cramlington homeowners in the ‘B’ and ‘C’ housing band category.

This is a complete disgrace and flies in the face of their election statement: “We oppose Lib and Tory plans to increase council tax in Cramlington. There are better and more efficient ways to deliver services,” – May 2013. (Quoted from their campaign leaflet).

The news of this was delivered at a town council meeting held in Shankhouse Club on Wednesday, January 22, despite promises of no tax rises.

No consultation. No discussion and definitely no input from local people about more than doubling their local town precept. Not even the town councillors from the other political parties were told about it.

It is my contention that if Cramlington had not been neglected for years, in favour of Blyth and Seaton Delaval by Blyth Valley Council, the necessary facilities may have been in place to negate the present situation.

Yes, I agree it would be lovely to see a litter free Cramlington with a nice new town square, and nice short grass all around, but not at any price.

It is a complete travesty, and a slap in the face of already hard pressed taxpayers.

I note how much Labour went on about the ‘bedroom tax’ – well now they have imposed a ‘town tax’ which will affect even more people with even more money being taken out of their pockets.

Norman Dunbar

Cramlington