Posted by: westlancashirerecord | April 28, 2018

How Is Our Council Tax Spent?

In his letter  to the Champion  this week Graham P Walker of Up Holland says “Surely public have a right to know how our council tax money is spent?” Of course we do. That is why the WLBC tells us how it is spent, our right to know, by law in its published accounts. [Source http://www.westlancs.gov.uk/media/543408/statement-2016-17-audited-version-final.pdf ]

More specifically Mr Walker claims “We…need to see how our taxes are spent at councillor activity level” and claims they receive a “weekly allowance of £70 plus expenses of approximately £20 weekly”. In fact the official allowances list states basic allowance £4,842 plus some special responsibility allowances plus some travel and subsistence allowances that have to be claimed. As for the “47 councillors” mentioned, [54 in fact] receiving “nearly £200,000 each year, they all, including the “specials”, cost us £343,565.60 in year ended 2017. [Source http://www.westlancs.gov.uk/media/541821/members-allowances-paid-2016-17.pdf ].

Mr Walker claims that “Current information about council activities comes to us courtesy of the Champion newspaper and consists of numerous “ground-breaking” panaceas of activities which disappear with trace”. Actually WLBC employs a communications/press office that releases news to chosen links. It is available here [Source http://www.westlancs.gov.uk/news.aspx ] There is no need for any local resident to assume there is a lack of information.

We are told by Cllr Moran that “The most powerful voice in the country right now, is yours. So use it to send the Tories a powerful message at the polls next Thursday. #VoteLabour”. And we are told by Cllr Westley that our votes mean “stopping Labour’s destruction of our greenbelt, huge new borrowings, and cuts in council services”.

The problem people will have with any of this is that we, the public, might have a powerful voice. Actually we already had one voice that is now being muted beyond belief, the one the majority used to regain the freedom to control and determine our own destiny. Will Cllr Moran or Cllr Westley, or any other councillor, ever accept a voters’ challenge to their election promises and their majorities? No, they won’t, which is probably why most wards in West Lancashire will struggle to achieve 30+% turnout next Thursday.

Mr Sneddon also wrote about his failed efforts to get council information re the new houses at Westec House, suggesting it would have been easier to get into the KGB files in the Kremlin. He is not happy about the limited information the council shares with us taxpayers. If he, and you, are finding it very hard to find any motivation to bother turning up at your local voting station next week, you might think of attending and writing “None of the above” just to let local party politicians know the real winner is the “apathy party”.


Responses

  1. Why do we, the council tax payer fund party “whips” which is a political tool that contributes absolutely nothing to the resiidents or to improve our Borough or County. Personally I don’t think councillors get paid enough for their time and effort (for those who are pro active in the community). Dead wood councillors should be recalled and be removed by the electorate, sadly new electroral legislation is very doubtful as both sides of the political spectrum have their fair share of under performing councillors. “Double hatters” with multiple additional allowances has to be abolished as that is a blatant abuse of power, privilege and of course, our cash! Where savings can be made is the outragous wages senior Council officials receive for poor performance and very little accountability.

    • That’s right, and much food for thought. It really is time for any party choosing to whip their elected members should pay for that whipping. It is frankly a disgrace that we, taxpayers, fund O’Toole in that way, as it would be in any other party. Abuse of power, abuse of tax, that’s what it is.


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