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HC BUDGET CONSULTATION


Denise Lloyd
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I've completed it on line this evening.

 

I said I would be happy to pay an extra 5% in council tax, if it was guaranteed that some of this extra revenue would be ring fenced to pay for services such as Ledbury Road.

 

I also said that I didn't expect everybody to agree, but perhaps a "top up" payment should be available as an option.

 

Times are tough. We all need to do what we can.

 

Personally, I'm not against an increase in parking charges. As another poster pointed out.... Plough Lane has very cheap all day parking. Folks perhaps need to leave the house five minutes earlier..... and, wait for it...... Walk!! (Shock, horror!)

 

The Tory Government aren't going to hand out any more, are they???

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I believe you and I have discussed this before Dippy.

Personally I will follow a similar approach when completing the form in that I would agree ( hopefully Mrs Knight would to ) to pay an AVC of 5% on my council tax which as a ring fenced contribution would go towards supporting a named list of organisations in need such as no1. Ledbury Road and also a percentage to my Councillors Ward for locally based projects.

 

This won't sit right with the majority of the electorate but it would be a reviewed on a yearly basis and of course the suggested benefactors for the funding could change.

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I would also happily agree to a 5% levy if the money already paid wasn't squandered on vanity projects.

 

If we had less managers, less foolish CPOs then there would be more money for things that matter.

 

I certainly didn't vote for this administration, but they should be accountable for what they want to do, against what they need to do, in line with real life priorities.

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Filled it out. Was quite scathing on salaries of top council jobs i.e. why do they bother with all this when they know, or should know, what has to be done. I agree with John that if money wasn't frittered away then there would be no need for raises. As an aside, if the council propose a 5% rise, and a consultation takes place across the county and is rejected, what happens then. Automatic reversal to 1.9%?

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I would also happily agree to a 5% levy if the money already paid wasn't squandered on vanity projects.

 

If we had less managers, less foolish CPOs then there would be more money for things that matter.

 

I certainly didn't vote for this administration, but they should be accountable for what they want to do, against what they need to do, in line with real life priorities.

Filled it out. Was quite scathing on salaries of top council jobs i.e. why do they bother with all this when they know, or should know, what has to be done. I agree with John that if money wasn't frittered away then there would be no need for raises. As an aside, if the council propose a 5% rise, and a consultation takes place across the county and is rejected, what happens then. Automatic reversal to 1.9%?

I don't disagree with either of you and who knows what's in store for the next financial year. Up to 5% I'm willing to help more than that well I will think of some other way of directing my contribution.

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Agreed, Cambo!

 

They are not a trustworthy bunch! I'd have far more confidence placing my money in the hands of an IOC administration......

 

But..... we are where we are, as they say. And in dire circumstances, I would suggest that there are a fair few good souls who would be prepared to dig a little deeper to help to protect the most needed services for the most vulnerable of our residents.

 

(By the way.... great post John Spencer! Nice to hear from you!)

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It would be good to see whether members of Hereford Voice are prepared to put suggestions on this site as to where the savings should be made. I just had a quick look but Adult Wellbeing is taking a hit.

It's already taken a hammering with staff made redundant and services outsourced to contractors of decidedly variable quality.

 

I find it rather curious that the Council pleads poverty when it comes to providing services yet seems to have lots of cash to spend on recruitment consultants only to then appoint the present incumbent to job of Council treasurer (or whatever the new fangled title is these days, chief financial officer is it?). Ditto the refurbishment of Plough Lane. That's got to be a six figure sum I'd have thought.

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Hereford Times News: Paul Broome

 
HEREFORDSHIRE Council has admitted its proposed public transport cuts could hit the elderly and young people.
 
The authority must make £42 million in savings by 2020 on top of almost £50 million already saved in the past five years.
 
It has put forward a number of cost-saving proposals to do this, including the removal of its public transport subsidy.
 
In its consultation papers the council says it can no longer afford to fund a public bus service so could withdraw subsidies over a three-year period to "allow time for individuals and local communities to explore alternative transport options".
 
It says the move could save up to £1 million.
 
At present, all public transport in the county is provided through private companies, which Herefordshire Council provides subsidies to.
 
But the proposal has been criticised by a Kington shopkeeper who believes the idea is further proof the council has forgotten the town.
 
"You can't get to Leominster from here now," said Mark Williams, who runs a hardware shop.
 
"People have dentists and so on in Leominster but to get there you have to go via Hereford.
 
"We've already had cuts here. I just think the council isn't fit for purpose. We're bottom of the priorities out here."
 
A county-based transport group is also unconvinced the proposal would work.
 
"We're in favour of having decent public transport because that would take traffic off the road," said John Perkins, the secretary of the Hereford Transport Forum.
 
"But I don't think any local company would be able to take on the service and provide competitive rates without the subsidies.
 
"I'm sure a lot of elderly residents who rely on buses will not be very amused."
 
Mr Perkins urged all residents to take part in the consultation.
 
County bus services have been in the news a lot this year.
 
In June, First Midland said it would discontinue its Hereford service as it had not been viable for a number of years.
 
The service will now be taken on by Yeomans and DRM, beginning next month.
 
Council leader, Cllr Tony Johnson, said the proposed changes form just one set of a broader set of proposals and questions in the council's budget consultation.
      
"It is vitally important that Herefordshire residents respond to the consultation and have their say as the responses we receive will impact on any decisions made," he said.
 
"We also welcome thoughts and ideas on how we can continue to deliver services whilst meeting the huge financial challenges we face now and in the future."

 

No problem for councillors who claim travelling expenses then.

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I think that chap - Mark - hit the nail firmly on the head. This council is most definitely NOT fit for purpose, and neither is this Tory government.

 

Perhaps we should ask those members amongst us who voted for David Cameron and his crew, to explain where they think these cuts should be made?

 

After all, they voted for them..... they must surely have the answers???

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It's already taken a hammering with staff made redundant and services outsourced to contractors of decidedly variable quality.

 

I find it rather curious that the Council pleads poverty when it comes to providing services yet seems to have lots of cash to spend on recruitment consultants only to then appoint the present incumbent to job of Council treasurer (or whatever the new fangled title is these days, chief financial officer is it?). Ditto the refurbishment of Plough Lane. That's got to be a six figure sum I'd have thought.

I think the funding allocated for the refurbishment of corporate accommodation was around £16million  - they did have to completely revamp the reception area at Plough Lane and put in alot of new showers! At least they didnt start building the extra accommodation they felt they needed to build there which would have nearly doubled the building in size and also they were trying to build a whole new access of Yazor road which was due to cost a few million. I wondered why they ever bought that building if it needed so much doing to it. If they need to increase income could they increase the rent on the new Livestock Market?  I heard a rumour that the auctioneers pay just £60,000 p.a. The extra revenue might help fund a few buses for the farmers' neighbours to travel to town or the doctors/dentists.

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Completed online there are savings to be made but maybe they should of spent less in Plough Lane! 

 

I've completed it on line this evening.

 

I said I would be happy to pay an extra 5% in council tax, if it was guaranteed that some of this extra revenue would be ring fenced to pay for services such as Ledbury Road.

 

I also said that I didn't expect everybody to agree, but perhaps a "top up" payment should be available as an option.

 

Times are tough. We all need to do what we can.

 

Personally, I'm not against an increase in parking charges. As another poster pointed out.... Plough Lane has very cheap all day parking. Folks perhaps need to leave the house five minutes earlier..... and, wait for it...... Walk!! (Shock, horror!)

 

The Tory Government aren't going to hand out any more, are they???

 

I agree with the majority of what you have written dippy, no problems paying an additional 5% as long as services to Blackmarston School and Ledbury Rd are protected, however, I do not agree with higher parking charges/meters, we need to attract people to our city but as it has already been pointed out the local car park in plough lane is cheap, funny that.  :Cha ching:  :Cha ching:  :Cha ching:

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I think that chap - Mark - hit the nail firmly on the head. This council is most definitely NOT fit for purpose, and neither is this Tory government.

 

Perhaps we should ask those members amongst us who voted for David Cameron and his crew, to explain where they think these cuts should be made?

 

After all, they voted for them..... they must surely have the answers???

 

 

 

I voted IOC locally and Tory in the general election but thats my business, no good blaming David Cameron and his crew was it? If it wasn't for the previous governments overspending we wouldn't have to be making these cuts now!

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Ok so we have completed the form made similar suggestions so will the Council ponder on what's disclosed after all they suggest that a 5% increase across the board would make a big difference. Will they put it to the local electorate...a suggested additional voluntary contribution?

Personally I would prefer more bobbies on the beat and not others sat chairs behind a mass of TV screens though this is another budget altogether.

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Herefordshire Council - like most other out of the way local authorities - are in financial meltdown. Another round of cuts this year and next (£20m+) on top of the already £34m we've had since 2010. By 2020 there will be NOTHING left for LA services apart from adult and children's social care.

 

Local communities have a choice: either do without the local services they are used to (eg libraries, grass cutting, public loos etc) or parish/town councils take them over and pay for them out the local precept.

 

The Government is cutting taxes nationally and expecting towns and villages to decide if they want to make up the resulting service shortfall through hyper-local taxes.  Yes, we'll be paying twice, but what's the alternative? 

 

I've written a blog piece on it if anyone's interested: http://www.richhadley.net/blog/going-for-broke-council-finances

 

Be interested in comments. 

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Herefordshire Council - like most other out of the way local authorities - are in financial meltdown. Another round of cuts this year and next (£20m+) on top of the already £34m we've had since 2010. By 2020 there will be NOTHING left for LA services apart from adult and children's social care.

 

Local communities have a choice: either do without the local services they are used to (eg libraries, grass cutting, public loos etc) or parish/town councils take them over and pay for them out the local precept.

 

The Government is cutting taxes nationally and expecting towns and villages to decide if they want to make up the resulting service shortfall through hyper-local taxes. Yes, we'll be paying twice, but what's the alternative?

 

I've written a blog piece on it if anyone's interested: http://www.richhadley.net/blog/going-for-broke-council-finances

 

Be interested in comments.

 

 

 

 

A good piece Richard but you missed something...what about the ever increasing number of people retiring to the County complete with money in bank and probably a damn fine pension be it public or private?

The last Herefordshire Village I lived at with around 100 soles (nearly two thirds were retired and over half of those moved into the County as comfortable retired people's) Now perhaps in our beautiful black and whites we should evaluate the provision of services based on the ability to pay??? Now there's controversial so donning my heavier plated suit!!

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Yes you are right Greenknight. The county does have a higher than average number of older people, partly because of influx of retirees but also because of demographic imbalances - younger people presumably move out of county to get higher paid work.

 

Remember that social care for elderly people is highly means-tested. If you have more than £23 thousand in the bank and/or a high pension income you receive no contribution to social care from the local authority. Those on lower incomes are entitled to pension credit guarantee support but this comes from DWP not HC social services. 

 

Fact is we have a lot of old people living in Herefordshire, and as with the rest of the county, these people are disproportionately struggling on low incomes, many in poverty. I think the issue of rich retirees is therefore a red herring. 

 

Remember too, that any well-off person is going to be paying more through the Council Tax system by virtue of living in higher banded properties.

 

The problem lies not with old people, but with the iniquitous cuts that are being made to local government. 

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Hi Rich

I don't disagree with most of what you say however I do believe there are more comfortably retired in Herefordfordshire than you think or at least until the point comes when care is required and then things can change.Care home costs are now running on average about £34,000 per year and as many of those retire leaving family behind when help is required it can come as a shock to see the kids inheritance wash away. An early diagnosis of dementia and a potential placement in a appropriate care home and after three years you are sitting at that 23K point you mentioned that's if of course preventative measures have been taken to move your ability to pay.

A friend of mine was able to sell his home in the South East and move to South Shropshire with a bigger house and money in the bank.

Again for this same reason he is paying less council tax on a bigger property than he ever did in Tunbridge Wells so he loves it over here!

 

I actually think there should be more council tax bands because personally I don't think there is much difference in rates per size of property so a national review of the banding system should be an option and a reassessment of rateable values which would not please some.

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