The “not putting up council tax” myth

26 Sep

This is something EDDC constantly pushes: we must be a wonderful council because we have not put up council tax.  This myth has been exploded in today’s Times where it reports that one in three councils makes more money from parking charges, planning charges and other domestic charges than from council tax.

The Audit Commission says that councils raised £10.2 BILLION by charging for rubbish, pest control, funerals and parking and such like.  Woking raises 87% of its income from such charges.  The report is here:

Click to access Fees-and-charges-VFM-briefing-FINAL-for-web-23-Sept-2013.pdf

from which it can be seen from the maps provided (page 6) that EDDC is amongst those councils raising the most from domestic charging.

The chairman of the Local Government Association said …”the funding system for local government is bust … some councils are in danger of being unable to fund their statutory responsibilities”.

And against this background, EDDC continues to tell us that an HQ move will be “cost neutral” even though it is going to need a loan of nearly £5 million.

Might it be that these “hidden” charges will be the ones that will rise if/when a financial black hole appears in EDDC finances – where a deficit has already been predicted for the next financial year?

7 Responses to “The “not putting up council tax” myth”

  1. tim September 26, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    Talking of cemetery fees, I recall one meeting, and I have a record of it somewhere, where one councillor asked why EDDC was not charging cemetery fees that were more in line with those charged at Exeter. How much are we talking about? Well currently EDDC charges around £622 for a 50 year plot and Exeter charges £1900. It was pointed out by a few other councillors that EDDC did not have a monopoly on cemeteries and even Cllr Diviani noted that there were alternative means of burial.
    A clearer example of some regarding the council as a business rather than having any social role I find hard to imagine. Even death it seems is just another opportunity to make money out of local people .
    Just how much has the consideration of the Knowle re-location cost us to date – and what could that money have been better spent upon?

    • Frances Deegan September 27, 2013 at 11:20 am #

      Tim, did they say what happens to our bones after 50 years! Will there be mass exhumations, the future sounds rather grewsome.

  2. Medusa September 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    They will sell them back to your descendents and charge by the kilo plus administration fee.

  3. Michael Faversham September 27, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    Farmers should give up land for burials. Especially in East Devon and Sidmouth – we moved here like so many others to retire and eventually be buried here. Farmers who just grab every opportunity to sell land for houses should give land for cemeteries. We, the residents should make our voice heard!

  4. Medusa September 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    Yes, instead of charging more we should be expecting developers to provide these facilities. However, that will not happen as EDDC would be responsible for their upkeep and that might put up council tax …. snd the merry-go-round goes round and round.

  5. Anita Carter September 28, 2013 at 6:23 am #

    Let us campaign. Budleigh Salterton needs a new cemetery. Let the developer building 52 houses provide a burial ground.

    • Abish September 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

      This will not happen Anita. The permission was granted a while back, although they have not started building. You need to contact farmers and landowners with land near the Town.

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