AT the last Cramlington Town Council meeting on September 1 there were a number of issues that arose through the meeting, each one including the phrase ‘we will have to increase the precept to cover this’ i.e. an increase in council tax.
There were discussions over the poor state of playgrounds and allotments, recently handed from Northumberland County Council to the town council for responsibility, and a plan for improvement, at our expense.
It would appear that the town councillors were the only people who had not realised the lack of investment and maintenance in these areas when they were handed over.
So, we originally paid Blyth Valley Borough Council, then the county council for their upkeep, and now have to pay again, to the town council.
The question is, what other services that have been neglected are to be dumped by the county council on to the town councils?
One thing that is definite, the county will not reduce the council tax in line with the services it no longer holds (a zero increase is not a reduction!).
So, playground improvements will increase the council tax, as will allotment improvements and having public questions included in the minutes of the council meeting, apparently.
It appears that all households will be paying (again) for what they may never actually use.
Yet there are other ways to fund some of these ventures, though when some of these were suggested previously they were immediately refused.
In my opinion the majority in the town council is quite happy to make the residents pay for everything without looking for other avenues of funding. After all, it’s not their money, is it?
MR M SWINBURN