The Argus council tax debate: An opportunity to have your say

The Argus: The great council tax debate: An opportunity to have your say The great council tax debate: An opportunity to have your say

The potential for the country’s first ever council tax referendum in Brighton and Hove has sparked great debate in the corridors of power and the living rooms of residents alike.

Nowwe are giving you the chance to put your questions to those making key decisions for the city.

We are hosting The Argus Council Tax Debate at Hove Town Hall from 7pm next Thursday, February 6 to give you the reader the chance to ask the questions you want answered to the city’s political leaders.


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Council leader Jason Kitcat, Conservative leader Geoffrey Theobald and Labour leader Warren Morgan will all be attending our debate and will answer the questions you put to them about the budget.

The decision earlier this month by the Green administration to propose a 4.75%council tax rise which automatically sparked the prospect of a referendum was immediately rejected by political opponents.

The local Labour group responded by calling for the Green administration to stand down and to be replaced by a caretaker council until fresh elections in May 2015.

The Argus’s own poll into residents’ referendum voting intentions has received more than 4,000 votes online with more than 70% saying they would vote against the rise.

We have also received almost 150 reader votes posted to The Argus newsroom with an overwhelming majority opposed to an increase.

But the Green call has received the backing of both major public sector worker unions,GMBand Unison, as well as a number of campaign groups and academics.

Argus editor Michael Beard, pictured left, who will chair the debate next week, said: “Ever since it was announced that a referendum might be held to determine whether council tax can be increased to 4.75% The Argus has been flooded with letters, emails and phone calls.

“Some described it as a clever move by Jason Kitcat – others as madness.

“What is certain is that it is an extremely controversial move that has sparked fierce debate.

“And that is why The Argus has decided to stage its debate so that the leaders of the three main parties in Brighton and Hove can explain where they stand on the budget, council tax and the proposed referendum, and why.

“We first began planning this debate on Monday last week.

“We were determined that our readers, both in paper and online, should have all the facts, figures and arguments in front of them.

“The debate will also give you the chance to ask your own questions.

“This is your opportunity to speak about not only a possible referendum, but also the scale of public spending cuts and the level of council tax increase.

“The Argus has been representing local views for more than 130 years which is why we felt it was so important to stage this debate and allow you to have your say on the issues that affect every single person in the city.”

Coun Kitcat said the crisis in social care is set to worsen as both Labour and Conservative parties nationally are committed to “more drastic cuts” but few were “willing to talk about it openly”.

He added: “So that is why we believe the other parties should join with us to give all residents an opportunity to express their view in the form of an official referendum.

“It’s only right that we have a proper public debate on the future of these essential social care services for our most vulnerable, because it is so fundamental to what we do as a council.

“Why not let the people decide?”

Coun Theobald said: “It is also important to debate important issues such as these and I am quite happy to debate and give our views.

“Our position is that it’s not necessary to increase the level of council tax residents have to pay and the Government has offered a substantial sum to help and enable the freeze to take place.”

Coun Morgan added: “I am looking forward to hearing the views of residents on the Greens’ proposed £5 a month tax rise and to expose some of the tactics behind it.”

Comments (67)

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11:36am Thu 30 Jan 14

kopite_rob says...

In April 2013 £15.8 million was owed in council tax, Brighton and Hove City Council had the highest arrears in Sussex.
This equates to £125 for each of the city’s 126,000 households.
The Councils own website hasn't posted collection rates for Council tax or Business rates since September 2013.
Before asking for yet more money from those that do pay their tax, can the council not get better at collecting from those that don't.
In April 2013 £15.8 million was owed in council tax, Brighton and Hove City Council had the highest arrears in Sussex. This equates to £125 for each of the city’s 126,000 households. The Councils own website hasn't posted collection rates for Council tax or Business rates since September 2013. Before asking for yet more money from those that do pay their tax, can the council not get better at collecting from those that don't. kopite_rob

11:38am Thu 30 Jan 14

pachallis says...

So the Green call has received the backing of both major public sector worker unions, GMB and Unison, as well as a number of campaign groups and academics.

In other words the left wing groups who want to receive additional spending rather than us poor sods who have to pay for it. At least these 'groups' have no block vote to approve the green left (melon) inspired council tax increases.

Let's hope that the council changes it's mind about the massive increase and focuses on reducing spending and improving efficiency instead - like the rest of us have had to do over recent years.

Alternatively we can hope that this afternoon's vote of confidence against the green administration succeeds and a more realistic 2014/5 budget and spending plans can be introduced.
So the Green call has received the backing of both major public sector worker unions, GMB and Unison, as well as a number of campaign groups and academics. In other words the left wing groups who want to receive additional spending rather than us poor sods who have to pay for it. At least these 'groups' have no block vote to approve the green left (melon) inspired council tax increases. Let's hope that the council changes it's mind about the massive increase and focuses on reducing spending and improving efficiency instead - like the rest of us have had to do over recent years. Alternatively we can hope that this afternoon's vote of confidence against the green administration succeeds and a more realistic 2014/5 budget and spending plans can be introduced. pachallis

11:49am Thu 30 Jan 14

ourcoalition says...

pachallis wrote:
So the Green call has received the backing of both major public sector worker unions, GMB and Unison, as well as a number of campaign groups and academics.

In other words the left wing groups who want to receive additional spending rather than us poor sods who have to pay for it. At least these 'groups' have no block vote to approve the green left (melon) inspired council tax increases.

Let's hope that the council changes it's mind about the massive increase and focuses on reducing spending and improving efficiency instead - like the rest of us have had to do over recent years.

Alternatively we can hope that this afternoon's vote of confidence against the green administration succeeds and a more realistic 2014/5 budget and spending plans can be introduced.
"us poor sods who have to pay for it" - that would include the 4,700 UNISON members living in Brighton and Hove working for the Council, who are subject (ed) to these "efficiency savings", or "cuts" as we prefer to call them.

These include low paid home carers, teaching assistants, and so forth, who see the service they provide to the young and old, deteriorating almost by the day. And if you think it can be made better by privatising services, you would be wrong - the service gets worse as does the pay of the staff, as big companies take their profits from both the service and the staff. That is the reality.
[quote][p][bold]pachallis[/bold] wrote: So the Green call has received the backing of both major public sector worker unions, GMB and Unison, as well as a number of campaign groups and academics. In other words the left wing groups who want to receive additional spending rather than us poor sods who have to pay for it. At least these 'groups' have no block vote to approve the green left (melon) inspired council tax increases. Let's hope that the council changes it's mind about the massive increase and focuses on reducing spending and improving efficiency instead - like the rest of us have had to do over recent years. Alternatively we can hope that this afternoon's vote of confidence against the green administration succeeds and a more realistic 2014/5 budget and spending plans can be introduced.[/p][/quote]"us poor sods who have to pay for it" - that would include the 4,700 UNISON members living in Brighton and Hove working for the Council, who are subject (ed) to these "efficiency savings", or "cuts" as we prefer to call them. These include low paid home carers, teaching assistants, and so forth, who see the service they provide to the young and old, deteriorating almost by the day. And if you think it can be made better by privatising services, you would be wrong - the service gets worse as does the pay of the staff, as big companies take their profits from both the service and the staff. That is the reality. ourcoalition

12:03pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Mark63 says...

A shame I'm away next week... Quite simply, they should stop wasting money on traffic worsening projects and spend it where it is needed most. This council's number 1 priority is about forcing drivers off the road and stealing money from them wherever possible. The priority should be with disadvantaged people and keeping our streets clean and Brighton a place worth visiting.
A shame I'm away next week... Quite simply, they should stop wasting money on traffic worsening projects and spend it where it is needed most. This council's number 1 priority is about forcing drivers off the road and stealing money from them wherever possible. The priority should be with disadvantaged people and keeping our streets clean and Brighton a place worth visiting. Mark63

12:09pm Thu 30 Jan 14

ripmaxman says...

Why should the residents of Brighton and Hove have to pay such an increase when the Green council are owed a considerable amount of council tax which is the highest in Sussex!!!

It would be better for the residents that pay the council tax for the council to collect the outstanding council tax.

One of the reasons that the council want to increase the tax by 4.75% is because they have wasted money on scatter brain ideas leaving a hole in the budget. 7 dial is a good example; the project was finished only to have corrective works carried out to put right the dangerous layout.

They are saying the increase is to protect vital services. This is only a ploy to make the residents feel bad and has no real substance. They should look at all the inefficiencies within the council before even thinking about a large increase.

To waste £230,000 of council tax payers money on a referendum is totally madness. No other council as far as I know has put forward such an increase to its residents.

It’s time for the Greens to go!!!!
Why should the residents of Brighton and Hove have to pay such an increase when the Green council are owed a considerable amount of council tax which is the highest in Sussex!!! It would be better for the residents that pay the council tax for the council to collect the outstanding council tax. One of the reasons that the council want to increase the tax by 4.75% is because they have wasted money on scatter brain ideas leaving a hole in the budget. 7 dial is a good example; the project was finished only to have corrective works carried out to put right the dangerous layout. They are saying the increase is to protect vital services. This is only a ploy to make the residents feel bad and has no real substance. They should look at all the inefficiencies within the council before even thinking about a large increase. To waste £230,000 of council tax payers money on a referendum is totally madness. No other council as far as I know has put forward such an increase to its residents. It’s time for the Greens to go!!!! ripmaxman

12:16pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Eugenius says...

kopite_rob wrote:
In April 2013 £15.8 million was owed in council tax, Brighton and Hove City Council had the highest arrears in Sussex.
This equates to £125 for each of the city’s 126,000 households.
The Councils own website hasn't posted collection rates for Council tax or Business rates since September 2013.
Before asking for yet more money from those that do pay their tax, can the council not get better at collecting from those that don't.
This is a red herring. A lag on collection is normal and accounted for (it doesn't mean the tax is not collected), we have the highest population in Sussex, also other councils write-off debts earlier rather than make the effort to retrieve them. Annual collection rate for Brighton & Hove is 98% which is better than many councils.
[quote][p][bold]kopite_rob[/bold] wrote: In April 2013 £15.8 million was owed in council tax, Brighton and Hove City Council had the highest arrears in Sussex. This equates to £125 for each of the city’s 126,000 households. The Councils own website hasn't posted collection rates for Council tax or Business rates since September 2013. Before asking for yet more money from those that do pay their tax, can the council not get better at collecting from those that don't.[/p][/quote]This is a red herring. A lag on collection is normal and accounted for (it doesn't mean the tax is not collected), we have the highest population in Sussex, also other councils write-off debts earlier rather than make the effort to retrieve them. Annual collection rate for Brighton & Hove is 98% which is better than many councils. Eugenius

12:18pm Thu 30 Jan 14

J_Brightonandhove says...

I genuinely would agree to this if I could guarantee the money would go to the people who really need it.

HOWEVER

This loony green council continue to spend money projects that aren't necessary. Cycle Lanes, 20mph zone increasing meaning money on signage, Guaranteeing the loan on the i360 etc. Why not cut these ridiculous projects and use the money from that. Even better, don't sell Kings House at an undervalue of £9 million and sell it to private developers for what its really worth!

The Greens simply don't have a clue. I woulnd't trust them with a single thing. They refuse to listen to the public and go ahead to do things regardless of our opinion. Well now's time we all come together to oppose them and their appauling policies. Lets get our City back!
I genuinely would agree to this if I could guarantee the money would go to the people who really need it. HOWEVER This loony green council continue to spend money projects that aren't necessary. Cycle Lanes, 20mph zone increasing meaning money on signage, Guaranteeing the loan on the i360 etc. Why not cut these ridiculous projects and use the money from that. Even better, don't sell Kings House at an undervalue of £9 million and sell it to private developers for what its really worth! The Greens simply don't have a clue. I woulnd't trust them with a single thing. They refuse to listen to the public and go ahead to do things regardless of our opinion. Well now's time we all come together to oppose them and their appauling policies. Lets get our City back! J_Brightonandhove

12:19pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Joshiman says...

What a con.This Green party have increased Council tax every year to pay for projects such as Seven dials /not fit for purpose new Street lights/New traffic lights which are programmed to cause as much traffic chaos as possible.New cycle lanes which are hardly used etc etc etc. They have wasted and wasted council tax payers monies.What next erecting a dozen wind Turbines on our seafront?
What a con.This Green party have increased Council tax every year to pay for projects such as Seven dials /not fit for purpose new Street lights/New traffic lights which are programmed to cause as much traffic chaos as possible.New cycle lanes which are hardly used etc etc etc. They have wasted and wasted council tax payers monies.What next erecting a dozen wind Turbines on our seafront? Joshiman

12:26pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Eugenius says...

ripmaxman wrote:
Why should the residents of Brighton and Hove have to pay such an increase when the Green council are owed a considerable amount of council tax which is the highest in Sussex!!!

It would be better for the residents that pay the council tax for the council to collect the outstanding council tax.

One of the reasons that the council want to increase the tax by 4.75% is because they have wasted money on scatter brain ideas leaving a hole in the budget. 7 dial is a good example; the project was finished only to have corrective works carried out to put right the dangerous layout.

They are saying the increase is to protect vital services. This is only a ploy to make the residents feel bad and has no real substance. They should look at all the inefficiencies within the council before even thinking about a large increase.

To waste £230,000 of council tax payers money on a referendum is totally madness. No other council as far as I know has put forward such an increase to its residents.

It’s time for the Greens to go!!!!
The Transport projects have not left a hole in the budget - they have been made possible by winning grants, mainly from central government who keep funding the schemes because we have a track record of successful implementation.

- £4m from the Department for Transport for the Lewes Road
- £300k from Sustrans for the Old Shoreham Road
- £300k from Department for Transport for the Seven Dials overhaul
- £750,000 from a joint bid to the government’s Greener Bus Fund to retrofit B&H Buses
- £3.4 million from the government’s ‘Better Bus Area’ fund to improve bus efficiency and punctuality in the Edward Street, Eastern Road and Valley Gardens areas
[quote][p][bold]ripmaxman[/bold] wrote: Why should the residents of Brighton and Hove have to pay such an increase when the Green council are owed a considerable amount of council tax which is the highest in Sussex!!! It would be better for the residents that pay the council tax for the council to collect the outstanding council tax. One of the reasons that the council want to increase the tax by 4.75% is because they have wasted money on scatter brain ideas leaving a hole in the budget. 7 dial is a good example; the project was finished only to have corrective works carried out to put right the dangerous layout. They are saying the increase is to protect vital services. This is only a ploy to make the residents feel bad and has no real substance. They should look at all the inefficiencies within the council before even thinking about a large increase. To waste £230,000 of council tax payers money on a referendum is totally madness. No other council as far as I know has put forward such an increase to its residents. It’s time for the Greens to go!!!![/p][/quote]The Transport projects have not left a hole in the budget - they have been made possible by winning grants, mainly from central government who keep funding the schemes because we have a track record of successful implementation. - £4m from the Department for Transport for the Lewes Road - £300k from Sustrans for the Old Shoreham Road - £300k from Department for Transport for the Seven Dials overhaul - £750,000 from a joint bid to the government’s Greener Bus Fund to retrofit B&H Buses - £3.4 million from the government’s ‘Better Bus Area’ fund to improve bus efficiency and punctuality in the Edward Street, Eastern Road and Valley Gardens areas Eugenius

12:45pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Eugenius says...

The hole in the budget is caused by the coalition government cutting our general fund grant for day-to-day services by £10 million each year in the name of austerity, at the same time as costs are rising due to an ageing population and inflation. The budget which we want to put to a referendum would raise £4.5 million with a guarantee that this would be spent on supporting the elderly and disabled.
The hole in the budget is caused by the coalition government cutting our general fund grant for day-to-day services by £10 million each year in the name of austerity, at the same time as costs are rising due to an ageing population and inflation. The budget which we want to put to a referendum would raise £4.5 million with a guarantee that this would be spent on supporting the elderly and disabled. Eugenius

12:46pm Thu 30 Jan 14

thevoiceoftruth says...

Eugenius wrote:
ripmaxman wrote:
Why should the residents of Brighton and Hove have to pay such an increase when the Green council are owed a considerable amount of council tax which is the highest in Sussex!!!

It would be better for the residents that pay the council tax for the council to collect the outstanding council tax.

One of the reasons that the council want to increase the tax by 4.75% is because they have wasted money on scatter brain ideas leaving a hole in the budget. 7 dial is a good example; the project was finished only to have corrective works carried out to put right the dangerous layout.

They are saying the increase is to protect vital services. This is only a ploy to make the residents feel bad and has no real substance. They should look at all the inefficiencies within the council before even thinking about a large increase.

To waste £230,000 of council tax payers money on a referendum is totally madness. No other council as far as I know has put forward such an increase to its residents.

It’s time for the Greens to go!!!!
The Transport projects have not left a hole in the budget - they have been made possible by winning grants, mainly from central government who keep funding the schemes because we have a track record of successful implementation.

- £4m from the Department for Transport for the Lewes Road
- £300k from Sustrans for the Old Shoreham Road
- £300k from Department for Transport for the Seven Dials overhaul
- £750,000 from a joint bid to the government’s Greener Bus Fund to retrofit B&H Buses
- £3.4 million from the government’s ‘Better Bus Area’ fund to improve bus efficiency and punctuality in the Edward Street, Eastern Road and Valley Gardens areas
Err, hang on. Yes, you won some funding but these projects still cost the taxpayer money. So Seven Dials cost us £500k and Old Shoreham Road cost us £400k. Plus the costs of council workers time putting these bids together. Didn't Lewes Road cost over £6 million? Where did the additional £2 million come from?
[quote][p][bold]Eugenius[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ripmaxman[/bold] wrote: Why should the residents of Brighton and Hove have to pay such an increase when the Green council are owed a considerable amount of council tax which is the highest in Sussex!!! It would be better for the residents that pay the council tax for the council to collect the outstanding council tax. One of the reasons that the council want to increase the tax by 4.75% is because they have wasted money on scatter brain ideas leaving a hole in the budget. 7 dial is a good example; the project was finished only to have corrective works carried out to put right the dangerous layout. They are saying the increase is to protect vital services. This is only a ploy to make the residents feel bad and has no real substance. They should look at all the inefficiencies within the council before even thinking about a large increase. To waste £230,000 of council tax payers money on a referendum is totally madness. No other council as far as I know has put forward such an increase to its residents. It’s time for the Greens to go!!!![/p][/quote]The Transport projects have not left a hole in the budget - they have been made possible by winning grants, mainly from central government who keep funding the schemes because we have a track record of successful implementation. - £4m from the Department for Transport for the Lewes Road - £300k from Sustrans for the Old Shoreham Road - £300k from Department for Transport for the Seven Dials overhaul - £750,000 from a joint bid to the government’s Greener Bus Fund to retrofit B&H Buses - £3.4 million from the government’s ‘Better Bus Area’ fund to improve bus efficiency and punctuality in the Edward Street, Eastern Road and Valley Gardens areas[/p][/quote]Err, hang on. Yes, you won some funding but these projects still cost the taxpayer money. So Seven Dials cost us £500k and Old Shoreham Road cost us £400k. Plus the costs of council workers time putting these bids together. Didn't Lewes Road cost over £6 million? Where did the additional £2 million come from? thevoiceoftruth

12:48pm Thu 30 Jan 14

J_Brightonandhove says...

Eugenius wrote:
ripmaxman wrote: Why should the residents of Brighton and Hove have to pay such an increase when the Green council are owed a considerable amount of council tax which is the highest in Sussex!!! It would be better for the residents that pay the council tax for the council to collect the outstanding council tax. One of the reasons that the council want to increase the tax by 4.75% is because they have wasted money on scatter brain ideas leaving a hole in the budget. 7 dial is a good example; the project was finished only to have corrective works carried out to put right the dangerous layout. They are saying the increase is to protect vital services. This is only a ploy to make the residents feel bad and has no real substance. They should look at all the inefficiencies within the council before even thinking about a large increase. To waste £230,000 of council tax payers money on a referendum is totally madness. No other council as far as I know has put forward such an increase to its residents. It’s time for the Greens to go!!!!
The Transport projects have not left a hole in the budget - they have been made possible by winning grants, mainly from central government who keep funding the schemes because we have a track record of successful implementation. - £4m from the Department for Transport for the Lewes Road - £300k from Sustrans for the Old Shoreham Road - £300k from Department for Transport for the Seven Dials overhaul - £750,000 from a joint bid to the government’s Greener Bus Fund to retrofit B&H Buses - £3.4 million from the government’s ‘Better Bus Area’ fund to improve bus efficiency and punctuality in the Edward Street, Eastern Road and Valley Gardens areas
So you're telling me that funding came from outside and the council bore NO cost on any of these projects?!

RUBBISH

Of course the Council used council tax money (with the help of outside grants)

Cut these projects altogether and it'll save a vast amount of cash!
[quote][p][bold]Eugenius[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ripmaxman[/bold] wrote: Why should the residents of Brighton and Hove have to pay such an increase when the Green council are owed a considerable amount of council tax which is the highest in Sussex!!! It would be better for the residents that pay the council tax for the council to collect the outstanding council tax. One of the reasons that the council want to increase the tax by 4.75% is because they have wasted money on scatter brain ideas leaving a hole in the budget. 7 dial is a good example; the project was finished only to have corrective works carried out to put right the dangerous layout. They are saying the increase is to protect vital services. This is only a ploy to make the residents feel bad and has no real substance. They should look at all the inefficiencies within the council before even thinking about a large increase. To waste £230,000 of council tax payers money on a referendum is totally madness. No other council as far as I know has put forward such an increase to its residents. It’s time for the Greens to go!!!![/p][/quote]The Transport projects have not left a hole in the budget - they have been made possible by winning grants, mainly from central government who keep funding the schemes because we have a track record of successful implementation. - £4m from the Department for Transport for the Lewes Road - £300k from Sustrans for the Old Shoreham Road - £300k from Department for Transport for the Seven Dials overhaul - £750,000 from a joint bid to the government’s Greener Bus Fund to retrofit B&H Buses - £3.4 million from the government’s ‘Better Bus Area’ fund to improve bus efficiency and punctuality in the Edward Street, Eastern Road and Valley Gardens areas[/p][/quote]So you're telling me that funding came from outside and the council bore NO cost on any of these projects?! RUBBISH Of course the Council used council tax money (with the help of outside grants) Cut these projects altogether and it'll save a vast amount of cash! J_Brightonandhove

12:49pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Eddy 1 says...

Bins never emptied on time, pot holes in the road. If they think a rise is acceptable they have another thing coming - i say if this comes in to form then every household in Brighton & Hove who opposes this should "STRIKE" just like the bin men do and the post office staff and not pay any council tax, see how Kitcat likes that.... i will be the first too
Bins never emptied on time, pot holes in the road. If they think a rise is acceptable they have another thing coming - i say if this comes in to form then every household in Brighton & Hove who opposes this should "STRIKE" just like the bin men do and the post office staff and not pay any council tax, see how Kitcat likes that.... i will be the first too Eddy 1

12:58pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Eugenius says...

thevoiceoftruth wrote:
Eugenius wrote:
ripmaxman wrote:
Why should the residents of Brighton and Hove have to pay such an increase when the Green council are owed a considerable amount of council tax which is the highest in Sussex!!!

It would be better for the residents that pay the council tax for the council to collect the outstanding council tax.

One of the reasons that the council want to increase the tax by 4.75% is because they have wasted money on scatter brain ideas leaving a hole in the budget. 7 dial is a good example; the project was finished only to have corrective works carried out to put right the dangerous layout.

They are saying the increase is to protect vital services. This is only a ploy to make the residents feel bad and has no real substance. They should look at all the inefficiencies within the council before even thinking about a large increase.

To waste £230,000 of council tax payers money on a referendum is totally madness. No other council as far as I know has put forward such an increase to its residents.

It’s time for the Greens to go!!!!
The Transport projects have not left a hole in the budget - they have been made possible by winning grants, mainly from central government who keep funding the schemes because we have a track record of successful implementation.

- £4m from the Department for Transport for the Lewes Road
- £300k from Sustrans for the Old Shoreham Road
- £300k from Department for Transport for the Seven Dials overhaul
- £750,000 from a joint bid to the government’s Greener Bus Fund to retrofit B&H Buses
- £3.4 million from the government’s ‘Better Bus Area’ fund to improve bus efficiency and punctuality in the Edward Street, Eastern Road and Valley Gardens areas
Err, hang on. Yes, you won some funding but these projects still cost the taxpayer money. So Seven Dials cost us £500k and Old Shoreham Road cost us £400k. Plus the costs of council workers time putting these bids together. Didn't Lewes Road cost over £6 million? Where did the additional £2 million come from?
For Lewes Road the additional £2 million came from local partners including Brighton & Hove Bus Company, Brighton & Sussex Universities and Brighton & Hove Primary Care Trust.
[quote][p][bold]thevoiceoftruth[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Eugenius[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ripmaxman[/bold] wrote: Why should the residents of Brighton and Hove have to pay such an increase when the Green council are owed a considerable amount of council tax which is the highest in Sussex!!! It would be better for the residents that pay the council tax for the council to collect the outstanding council tax. One of the reasons that the council want to increase the tax by 4.75% is because they have wasted money on scatter brain ideas leaving a hole in the budget. 7 dial is a good example; the project was finished only to have corrective works carried out to put right the dangerous layout. They are saying the increase is to protect vital services. This is only a ploy to make the residents feel bad and has no real substance. They should look at all the inefficiencies within the council before even thinking about a large increase. To waste £230,000 of council tax payers money on a referendum is totally madness. No other council as far as I know has put forward such an increase to its residents. It’s time for the Greens to go!!!![/p][/quote]The Transport projects have not left a hole in the budget - they have been made possible by winning grants, mainly from central government who keep funding the schemes because we have a track record of successful implementation. - £4m from the Department for Transport for the Lewes Road - £300k from Sustrans for the Old Shoreham Road - £300k from Department for Transport for the Seven Dials overhaul - £750,000 from a joint bid to the government’s Greener Bus Fund to retrofit B&H Buses - £3.4 million from the government’s ‘Better Bus Area’ fund to improve bus efficiency and punctuality in the Edward Street, Eastern Road and Valley Gardens areas[/p][/quote]Err, hang on. Yes, you won some funding but these projects still cost the taxpayer money. So Seven Dials cost us £500k and Old Shoreham Road cost us £400k. Plus the costs of council workers time putting these bids together. Didn't Lewes Road cost over £6 million? Where did the additional £2 million come from?[/p][/quote]For Lewes Road the additional £2 million came from local partners including Brighton & Hove Bus Company, Brighton & Sussex Universities and Brighton & Hove Primary Care Trust. Eugenius

12:59pm Thu 30 Jan 14

rayellerton says...

Eugenius wrote:
ripmaxman wrote:
Why should the residents of Brighton and Hove have to pay such an increase when the Green council are owed a considerable amount of council tax which is the highest in Sussex!!!

It would be better for the residents that pay the council tax for the council to collect the outstanding council tax.

One of the reasons that the council want to increase the tax by 4.75% is because they have wasted money on scatter brain ideas leaving a hole in the budget. 7 dial is a good example; the project was finished only to have corrective works carried out to put right the dangerous layout.

They are saying the increase is to protect vital services. This is only a ploy to make the residents feel bad and has no real substance. They should look at all the inefficiencies within the council before even thinking about a large increase.

To waste £230,000 of council tax payers money on a referendum is totally madness. No other council as far as I know has put forward such an increase to its residents.

It’s time for the Greens to go!!!!
The Transport projects have not left a hole in the budget - they have been made possible by winning grants, mainly from central government who keep funding the schemes because we have a track record of successful implementation.

- £4m from the Department for Transport for the Lewes Road
- £300k from Sustrans for the Old Shoreham Road
- £300k from Department for Transport for the Seven Dials overhaul
- £750,000 from a joint bid to the government’s Greener Bus Fund to retrofit B&H Buses
- £3.4 million from the government’s ‘Better Bus Area’ fund to improve bus efficiency and punctuality in the Edward Street, Eastern Road and Valley Gardens areas
wherever it comes from it is all our taxes in the end, and we are fed up with our hard earned being used to keep useless administrations in ego driven projects that have no benefit to us as residents of this City. How about reducing the bureaucrats and spending our money on what we want? Proper waste collection..which used to be reliable, polite and clean. Care for the elderly instead of shutting down facilities which they need. Resurfacing roads to the benefit of ALL road users rather than silly cosmetic work, narrowing of roads, bus lanes, cycle lanes and the ridiculous bus stops which block progress of vehicles. Keeping our heritage sites in good repair rather than building ugly novelty 'attractions' which will end up white elephants. Having our parks and open spaces well kept, and sporting facilities kept in good order...with no travellers allowed to vandalise them... I'm sure all those would be popular and make our life in this City more enjoyable.
[quote][p][bold]Eugenius[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ripmaxman[/bold] wrote: Why should the residents of Brighton and Hove have to pay such an increase when the Green council are owed a considerable amount of council tax which is the highest in Sussex!!! It would be better for the residents that pay the council tax for the council to collect the outstanding council tax. One of the reasons that the council want to increase the tax by 4.75% is because they have wasted money on scatter brain ideas leaving a hole in the budget. 7 dial is a good example; the project was finished only to have corrective works carried out to put right the dangerous layout. They are saying the increase is to protect vital services. This is only a ploy to make the residents feel bad and has no real substance. They should look at all the inefficiencies within the council before even thinking about a large increase. To waste £230,000 of council tax payers money on a referendum is totally madness. No other council as far as I know has put forward such an increase to its residents. It’s time for the Greens to go!!!![/p][/quote]The Transport projects have not left a hole in the budget - they have been made possible by winning grants, mainly from central government who keep funding the schemes because we have a track record of successful implementation. - £4m from the Department for Transport for the Lewes Road - £300k from Sustrans for the Old Shoreham Road - £300k from Department for Transport for the Seven Dials overhaul - £750,000 from a joint bid to the government’s Greener Bus Fund to retrofit B&H Buses - £3.4 million from the government’s ‘Better Bus Area’ fund to improve bus efficiency and punctuality in the Edward Street, Eastern Road and Valley Gardens areas[/p][/quote]wherever it comes from it is all our taxes in the end, and we are fed up with our hard earned being used to keep useless administrations in ego driven projects that have no benefit to us as residents of this City. How about reducing the bureaucrats and spending our money on what we want? Proper waste collection..which used to be reliable, polite and clean. Care for the elderly instead of shutting down facilities which they need. Resurfacing roads to the benefit of ALL road users rather than silly cosmetic work, narrowing of roads, bus lanes, cycle lanes and the ridiculous bus stops which block progress of vehicles. Keeping our heritage sites in good repair rather than building ugly novelty 'attractions' which will end up white elephants. Having our parks and open spaces well kept, and sporting facilities kept in good order...with no travellers allowed to vandalise them... I'm sure all those would be popular and make our life in this City more enjoyable. rayellerton

1:00pm Thu 30 Jan 14

J_Brightonandhove says...

Eugenius wrote:
The hole in the budget is caused by the coalition government cutting our general fund grant for day-to-day services by £10 million each year in the name of austerity, at the same time as costs are rising due to an ageing population and inflation. The budget which we want to put to a referendum would raise £4.5 million with a guarantee that this would be spent on supporting the elderly and disabled.
Is this a green council guarantee? Otherwise known as bare faced lies and we'll do what we want guarantee?

Get out of here Eugenius. Fact is, the games up, the Greens have been seen for what they are and the fact you're calling for this referendum is the final nail in the coffin.

Funny how other councils are managing to cope and even having their bins emptied on time!
[quote][p][bold]Eugenius[/bold] wrote: The hole in the budget is caused by the coalition government cutting our general fund grant for day-to-day services by £10 million each year in the name of austerity, at the same time as costs are rising due to an ageing population and inflation. The budget which we want to put to a referendum would raise £4.5 million with a guarantee that this would be spent on supporting the elderly and disabled.[/p][/quote]Is this a green council guarantee? Otherwise known as bare faced lies and we'll do what we want guarantee? Get out of here Eugenius. Fact is, the games up, the Greens have been seen for what they are and the fact you're calling for this referendum is the final nail in the coffin. Funny how other councils are managing to cope and even having their bins emptied on time! J_Brightonandhove

1:01pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Thay Qon U says...

Eugenius wrote:
kopite_rob wrote:
In April 2013 £15.8 million was owed in council tax, Brighton and Hove City Council had the highest arrears in Sussex.
This equates to £125 for each of the city’s 126,000 households.
The Councils own website hasn't posted collection rates for Council tax or Business rates since September 2013.
Before asking for yet more money from those that do pay their tax, can the council not get better at collecting from those that don't.
This is a red herring. A lag on collection is normal and accounted for (it doesn't mean the tax is not collected), we have the highest population in Sussex, also other councils write-off debts earlier rather than make the effort to retrieve them. Annual collection rate for Brighton & Hove is 98% which is better than many councils.
I think kopite-rob makes a very valid point about the arrears of Council Tax.

The estimated (by BHCC in their returns to 'Whitehall') net debit of Council Tax to be collected for 2012-13 is some £117m which merans that the accumulated arrears amout to some 14% of the amount to be collected for that year.

The overall net debit to be collected will exclude the amounts of Council Tax due from students as BHCC does not have to collect from those households so the reference by Eugenius to "highest population" is pretty meaningless.

The reference by Eugenius to BHCC being more careful about writing off debts is somewhat worrying from an accounting 'best practice' as the notional debt of Council Tax (which becomes more difficult to collect the longer it is left uncollected) will potentially present an unfair reflection of a nebulous asset in the BHCC balance sheet & may also suggest an optimistic approach by the BHCC accountants in the privision that they set aside as bad debt provision(s) for these Council Tax arrears.
[quote][p][bold]Eugenius[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]kopite_rob[/bold] wrote: In April 2013 £15.8 million was owed in council tax, Brighton and Hove City Council had the highest arrears in Sussex. This equates to £125 for each of the city’s 126,000 households. The Councils own website hasn't posted collection rates for Council tax or Business rates since September 2013. Before asking for yet more money from those that do pay their tax, can the council not get better at collecting from those that don't.[/p][/quote]This is a red herring. A lag on collection is normal and accounted for (it doesn't mean the tax is not collected), we have the highest population in Sussex, also other councils write-off debts earlier rather than make the effort to retrieve them. Annual collection rate for Brighton & Hove is 98% which is better than many councils.[/p][/quote]I think kopite-rob makes a very valid point about the arrears of Council Tax. The estimated (by BHCC in their returns to 'Whitehall') net debit of Council Tax to be collected for 2012-13 is some £117m which merans that the accumulated arrears amout to some 14% of the amount to be collected for that year. The overall net debit to be collected will exclude the amounts of Council Tax due from students as BHCC does not have to collect from those households so the reference by Eugenius to "highest population" is pretty meaningless. The reference by Eugenius to BHCC being more careful about writing off debts is somewhat worrying from an accounting 'best practice' as the notional debt of Council Tax (which becomes more difficult to collect the longer it is left uncollected) will potentially present an unfair reflection of a nebulous asset in the BHCC balance sheet & may also suggest an optimistic approach by the BHCC accountants in the privision that they set aside as bad debt provision(s) for these Council Tax arrears. Thay Qon U

1:02pm Thu 30 Jan 14

RottingdeanRant says...

Do they think we would believe anything they said at the meeting? You have a budget so stick to it and stop spending on any non essential projects until you can balance the budget. It is what individuals have to do with their own budgets when they cannot simply ask for more! Also, if you must east more mont by not making the cuts yourself then limit the ability to vote to those individuals that actually pay the tax!
Do they think we would believe anything they said at the meeting? You have a budget so stick to it and stop spending on any non essential projects until you can balance the budget. It is what individuals have to do with their own budgets when they cannot simply ask for more! Also, if you must east more mont by not making the cuts yourself then limit the ability to vote to those individuals that actually pay the tax! RottingdeanRant

1:11pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Warren Morgan says...

Eugenius wrote:
The hole in the budget is caused by the coalition government cutting our general fund grant for day-to-day services by £10 million each year in the name of austerity, at the same time as costs are rising due to an ageing population and inflation. The budget which we want to put to a referendum would raise £4.5 million with a guarantee that this would be spent on supporting the elderly and disabled.
The 2% threshold budget we support would increase income to the council by £2 million. Your 4.75% council tax increase would raise an additional £2.75 million if approved by a referendum costing £230, 000. Not an additional £4.5 million, not unless you are usiing the Tory council tax freeze as a starting point - which in effect would mean more cuts on top of the £23 million imposed this year.

If the additional increase is not approved at a referendum - and we plan to vote it out at Budget council anyway - the costs of sending new council tax bills to city residents wuld run into hundreds of thousands we estaimate. So far the council is not sayiing what rebilling costs would be.

So it's an extra £2.75 million, minus the costs of a referendum, which would only come if there was a yes vote. A no vote would double or treble the referendum costs and we would be back to £2m againt a backkdrop of £23m Tory cuts.
[quote][p][bold]Eugenius[/bold] wrote: The hole in the budget is caused by the coalition government cutting our general fund grant for day-to-day services by £10 million each year in the name of austerity, at the same time as costs are rising due to an ageing population and inflation. The budget which we want to put to a referendum would raise £4.5 million with a guarantee that this would be spent on supporting the elderly and disabled.[/p][/quote]The 2% threshold budget we support would increase income to the council by £2 million. Your 4.75% council tax increase would raise an additional £2.75 million if approved by a referendum costing £230, 000. Not an additional £4.5 million, not unless you are usiing the Tory council tax freeze as a starting point - which in effect would mean more cuts on top of the £23 million imposed this year. If the additional increase is not approved at a referendum - and we plan to vote it out at Budget council anyway - the costs of sending new council tax bills to city residents wuld run into hundreds of thousands we estaimate. So far the council is not sayiing what rebilling costs would be. So it's an extra £2.75 million, minus the costs of a referendum, which would only come if there was a yes vote. A no vote would double or treble the referendum costs and we would be back to £2m againt a backkdrop of £23m Tory cuts. Warren Morgan

1:24pm Thu 30 Jan 14

thevoiceoftruth says...

Eugenius wrote:
thevoiceoftruth wrote:
Eugenius wrote:
ripmaxman wrote:
Why should the residents of Brighton and Hove have to pay such an increase when the Green council are owed a considerable amount of council tax which is the highest in Sussex!!!

It would be better for the residents that pay the council tax for the council to collect the outstanding council tax.

One of the reasons that the council want to increase the tax by 4.75% is because they have wasted money on scatter brain ideas leaving a hole in the budget. 7 dial is a good example; the project was finished only to have corrective works carried out to put right the dangerous layout.

They are saying the increase is to protect vital services. This is only a ploy to make the residents feel bad and has no real substance. They should look at all the inefficiencies within the council before even thinking about a large increase.

To waste £230,000 of council tax payers money on a referendum is totally madness. No other council as far as I know has put forward such an increase to its residents.

It’s time for the Greens to go!!!!
The Transport projects have not left a hole in the budget - they have been made possible by winning grants, mainly from central government who keep funding the schemes because we have a track record of successful implementation.

- £4m from the Department for Transport for the Lewes Road
- £300k from Sustrans for the Old Shoreham Road
- £300k from Department for Transport for the Seven Dials overhaul
- £750,000 from a joint bid to the government’s Greener Bus Fund to retrofit B&H Buses
- £3.4 million from the government’s ‘Better Bus Area’ fund to improve bus efficiency and punctuality in the Edward Street, Eastern Road and Valley Gardens areas
Err, hang on. Yes, you won some funding but these projects still cost the taxpayer money. So Seven Dials cost us £500k and Old Shoreham Road cost us £400k. Plus the costs of council workers time putting these bids together. Didn't Lewes Road cost over £6 million? Where did the additional £2 million come from?
For Lewes Road the additional £2 million came from local partners including Brighton & Hove Bus Company, Brighton & Sussex Universities and Brighton & Hove Primary Care Trust.
Why would the primary care trust fund Lewes Road? I thought they were set up to spend money on NHS services - which are paid for by the taxpayer. I fail to see how this benefits the NHS.

B&H bus company are a private enterprise but put their fares up by 11% last year - so we pay anyway.

I see that you are not disputing the £900,000 we paid towards the two transport projects I mentioned.
[quote][p][bold]Eugenius[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]thevoiceoftruth[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Eugenius[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ripmaxman[/bold] wrote: Why should the residents of Brighton and Hove have to pay such an increase when the Green council are owed a considerable amount of council tax which is the highest in Sussex!!! It would be better for the residents that pay the council tax for the council to collect the outstanding council tax. One of the reasons that the council want to increase the tax by 4.75% is because they have wasted money on scatter brain ideas leaving a hole in the budget. 7 dial is a good example; the project was finished only to have corrective works carried out to put right the dangerous layout. They are saying the increase is to protect vital services. This is only a ploy to make the residents feel bad and has no real substance. They should look at all the inefficiencies within the council before even thinking about a large increase. To waste £230,000 of council tax payers money on a referendum is totally madness. No other council as far as I know has put forward such an increase to its residents. It’s time for the Greens to go!!!![/p][/quote]The Transport projects have not left a hole in the budget - they have been made possible by winning grants, mainly from central government who keep funding the schemes because we have a track record of successful implementation. - £4m from the Department for Transport for the Lewes Road - £300k from Sustrans for the Old Shoreham Road - £300k from Department for Transport for the Seven Dials overhaul - £750,000 from a joint bid to the government’s Greener Bus Fund to retrofit B&H Buses - £3.4 million from the government’s ‘Better Bus Area’ fund to improve bus efficiency and punctuality in the Edward Street, Eastern Road and Valley Gardens areas[/p][/quote]Err, hang on. Yes, you won some funding but these projects still cost the taxpayer money. So Seven Dials cost us £500k and Old Shoreham Road cost us £400k. Plus the costs of council workers time putting these bids together. Didn't Lewes Road cost over £6 million? Where did the additional £2 million come from?[/p][/quote]For Lewes Road the additional £2 million came from local partners including Brighton & Hove Bus Company, Brighton & Sussex Universities and Brighton & Hove Primary Care Trust.[/p][/quote]Why would the primary care trust fund Lewes Road? I thought they were set up to spend money on NHS services - which are paid for by the taxpayer. I fail to see how this benefits the NHS. B&H bus company are a private enterprise but put their fares up by 11% last year - so we pay anyway. I see that you are not disputing the £900,000 we paid towards the two transport projects I mentioned. thevoiceoftruth

1:24pm Thu 30 Jan 14

downbythesea says...

Go home Kitcrap and take your mouldy Greens with you.

Any referendum on council tax should only be to COUNCIL TAX PAYERS, i.e. NO STUDENT VOTES, they don't pay towards council services, so they should have no say on increases.

Like this post if you agree!
Go home Kitcrap and take your mouldy Greens with you. Any referendum on council tax should only be to COUNCIL TAX PAYERS, i.e. NO STUDENT VOTES, they don't pay towards council services, so they should have no say on increases. Like this post if you agree! downbythesea

1:32pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Mr P Brown says...

I might well agree to a rise in council tax if I believed for one minute the Green council would do what they are promising with the money. But since they were elected in 2010 the have constantly lied and fiddled figures, to push through schemes that the majority of voters clearly do not want.Now the only positive vote from me, will be the vote to remove them from power, that vote cannot come soon enough
I might well agree to a rise in council tax if I believed for one minute the Green council would do what they are promising with the money. But since they were elected in 2010 the have constantly lied and fiddled figures, to push through schemes that the majority of voters clearly do not want.Now the only positive vote from me, will be the vote to remove them from power, that vote cannot come soon enough Mr P Brown

1:35pm Thu 30 Jan 14

pachallis says...

ourcoalition wrote:
pachallis wrote:
So the Green call has received the backing of both major public sector worker unions, GMB and Unison, as well as a number of campaign groups and academics.

In other words the left wing groups who want to receive additional spending rather than us poor sods who have to pay for it. At least these 'groups' have no block vote to approve the green left (melon) inspired council tax increases.

Let's hope that the council changes it's mind about the massive increase and focuses on reducing spending and improving efficiency instead - like the rest of us have had to do over recent years.

Alternatively we can hope that this afternoon's vote of confidence against the green administration succeeds and a more realistic 2014/5 budget and spending plans can be introduced.
"us poor sods who have to pay for it" - that would include the 4,700 UNISON members living in Brighton and Hove working for the Council, who are subject (ed) to these "efficiency savings", or "cuts" as we prefer to call them.

These include low paid home carers, teaching assistants, and so forth, who see the service they provide to the young and old, deteriorating almost by the day. And if you think it can be made better by privatising services, you would be wrong - the service gets worse as does the pay of the staff, as big companies take their profits from both the service and the staff. That is the reality.
@ourcoalition - WD unions need to justify their existence to their members. This means protecting jobs and pushing for higher pay increases.

Just like in other union controlled work places there is over manning and rather than cutting hours or wages then you need to lose excess heads and make the remainder work harder. This is happening to private sector jobs across the world but this apparently can not happen to public sector jobs. Why? What makes public sector different?

So make sure that the low paid home carers, teaching assistants, etc. are protected and analyse what other jobs are really required and really of benefit to the community and (unfortunately) get rid of the others.

Look at processes and see what can be improved. Are practices being followed because this is always the way it has been done?

What, if anything, have the unions done to look at how costs can be reduced? I'd wager 'not a lot' - instead, like you, just demanding to keep jobs and increase pay and let the non-union rate payers pick up the tab.
[quote][p][bold]ourcoalition[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pachallis[/bold] wrote: So the Green call has received the backing of both major public sector worker unions, GMB and Unison, as well as a number of campaign groups and academics. In other words the left wing groups who want to receive additional spending rather than us poor sods who have to pay for it. At least these 'groups' have no block vote to approve the green left (melon) inspired council tax increases. Let's hope that the council changes it's mind about the massive increase and focuses on reducing spending and improving efficiency instead - like the rest of us have had to do over recent years. Alternatively we can hope that this afternoon's vote of confidence against the green administration succeeds and a more realistic 2014/5 budget and spending plans can be introduced.[/p][/quote]"us poor sods who have to pay for it" - that would include the 4,700 UNISON members living in Brighton and Hove working for the Council, who are subject (ed) to these "efficiency savings", or "cuts" as we prefer to call them. These include low paid home carers, teaching assistants, and so forth, who see the service they provide to the young and old, deteriorating almost by the day. And if you think it can be made better by privatising services, you would be wrong - the service gets worse as does the pay of the staff, as big companies take their profits from both the service and the staff. That is the reality.[/p][/quote]@ourcoalition - WD unions need to justify their existence to their members. This means protecting jobs and pushing for higher pay increases. Just like in other union controlled work places there is over manning and rather than cutting hours or wages then you need to lose excess heads and make the remainder work harder. This is happening to private sector jobs across the world but this apparently can not happen to public sector jobs. Why? What makes public sector different? So make sure that the low paid home carers, teaching assistants, etc. are protected and analyse what other jobs are really required and really of benefit to the community and (unfortunately) get rid of the others. Look at processes and see what can be improved. Are practices being followed because this is always the way it has been done? What, if anything, have the unions done to look at how costs can be reduced? I'd wager 'not a lot' - instead, like you, just demanding to keep jobs and increase pay and let the non-union rate payers pick up the tab. pachallis

1:53pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Warren Morgan says...

For what I think are the real tactics behind this, see my blog: http://warrenmorgan.
wordpress.com/2014/0
1/29/kitcat-the-magi
cian/
For what I think are the real tactics behind this, see my blog: http://warrenmorgan. wordpress.com/2014/0 1/29/kitcat-the-magi cian/ Warren Morgan

2:05pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Richada says...

RottingdeanRant wrote:
Do they think we would believe anything they said at the meeting? You have a budget so stick to it and stop spending on any non essential projects until you can balance the budget. It is what individuals have to do with their own budgets when they cannot simply ask for more! Also, if you must east more mont by not making the cuts yourself then limit the ability to vote to those individuals that actually pay the tax!
There lies the problem.......

Debate all you like, but the council tax payers, if not the populace at large, simply no longer believe the current council's figures or spin.

They have made themselves so totally unpopular through their single minded devotion to "the cause" rather than to the city or to those who voted for them, that we no longer want to hear what they say.

They justify hugely unpopular, and unworkable traffic management plans that bring mIsery and pollution to many who live here by quoting various "funds" that the huge sums spent have come from - as if that's ok, after all, this money has nothing to do with taxpayers does it? Manna from heaven presumably.

Meanwhile the refuse and recycling service - which we all use - has degenerated into chaos, the council departments costly coaching obviously is not working, but never mind, we have wild flowers to admire on the bowling greens.

£230,000? It's just a drop in the bucket for we tax payers after all.

As private individuals, and businesses, we do live in the real world, and have to cut our cloth according to our means. We are unable to simply demand a 4.75% increase of our customers - if we did, they would seek alternative services elsewhere, which of course, bar moving, B&HC council tax payers are unable to do.

First HJarrs, now Eugenious posture and preen here, having no idea what is going on in this city, nor the way the majority of its hard working council tax tax payers live or think. Worse, they don't care.

It's too late to "wake up and smell the coffee" now - it went cold many, many months ago.

Will the other parties offer us a more sensible, economically run council? I don't know, but they couldn't do any worse.
[quote][p][bold]RottingdeanRant[/bold] wrote: Do they think we would believe anything they said at the meeting? You have a budget so stick to it and stop spending on any non essential projects until you can balance the budget. It is what individuals have to do with their own budgets when they cannot simply ask for more! Also, if you must east more mont by not making the cuts yourself then limit the ability to vote to those individuals that actually pay the tax![/p][/quote]There lies the problem....... Debate all you like, but the council tax payers, if not the populace at large, simply no longer believe the current council's figures or spin. They have made themselves so totally unpopular through their single minded devotion to "the cause" rather than to the city or to those who voted for them, that we no longer want to hear what they say. They justify hugely unpopular, and unworkable traffic management plans that bring mIsery and pollution to many who live here by quoting various "funds" that the huge sums spent have come from - as if that's ok, after all, this money has nothing to do with taxpayers does it? Manna from heaven presumably. Meanwhile the refuse and recycling service - which we all use - has degenerated into chaos, the council departments costly coaching obviously is not working, but never mind, we have wild flowers to admire on the bowling greens. £230,000? It's just a drop in the bucket for we tax payers after all. As private individuals, and businesses, we do live in the real world, and have to cut our cloth according to our means. We are unable to simply demand a 4.75% increase of our customers - if we did, they would seek alternative services elsewhere, which of course, bar moving, B&HC council tax payers are unable to do. First HJarrs, now Eugenious posture and preen here, having no idea what is going on in this city, nor the way the majority of its hard working council tax tax payers live or think. Worse, they don't care. It's too late to "wake up and smell the coffee" now - it went cold many, many months ago. Will the other parties offer us a more sensible, economically run council? I don't know, but they couldn't do any worse. Richada

2:05pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Tring says...

pachallis wrote:
ourcoalition wrote:
pachallis wrote:
So the Green call has received the backing of both major public sector worker unions, GMB and Unison, as well as a number of campaign groups and academics.

In other words the left wing groups who want to receive additional spending rather than us poor sods who have to pay for it. At least these 'groups' have no block vote to approve the green left (melon) inspired council tax increases.

Let's hope that the council changes it's mind about the massive increase and focuses on reducing spending and improving efficiency instead - like the rest of us have had to do over recent years.

Alternatively we can hope that this afternoon's vote of confidence against the green administration succeeds and a more realistic 2014/5 budget and spending plans can be introduced.
"us poor sods who have to pay for it" - that would include the 4,700 UNISON members living in Brighton and Hove working for the Council, who are subject (ed) to these "efficiency savings", or "cuts" as we prefer to call them.

These include low paid home carers, teaching assistants, and so forth, who see the service they provide to the young and old, deteriorating almost by the day. And if you think it can be made better by privatising services, you would be wrong - the service gets worse as does the pay of the staff, as big companies take their profits from both the service and the staff. That is the reality.
@ourcoalition - WD unions need to justify their existence to their members. This means protecting jobs and pushing for higher pay increases.

Just like in other union controlled work places there is over manning and rather than cutting hours or wages then you need to lose excess heads and make the remainder work harder. This is happening to private sector jobs across the world but this apparently can not happen to public sector jobs. Why? What makes public sector different?

So make sure that the low paid home carers, teaching assistants, etc. are protected and analyse what other jobs are really required and really of benefit to the community and (unfortunately) get rid of the others.

Look at processes and see what can be improved. Are practices being followed because this is always the way it has been done?

What, if anything, have the unions done to look at how costs can be reduced? I'd wager 'not a lot' - instead, like you, just demanding to keep jobs and increase pay and let the non-union rate payers pick up the tab.
So, basically you thoroughly approve of a downward squeeze on wages, conditions and living standards in the public and private sectors - and also expect unions to do the job of management in identifying cost reductions??

Still, the line about 'union controlled workplaces' gave me a good belly laugh. I work in a public sector body at the moment. Our most recent 'restructuring' (ie large scale redundancies) got rid of a lot of expertise, but somehow managed to ADD a tier of management!

Much of the expert work is now outsourced, in some cases to expensive consultants who cost more than the sacked employees. It would be hilarious if it weren't so sad. The unions were, of course, powerless to prevent any of this, as well as the salary freeze and more expensive pensions (a de facto special tax for public sector workers only - nice one, Osborne).

Council tax - yes, I would vote for a 4.5% rise, on balance. If you want decent services you have to pay for them.

BTW the vote today is non binding, which seems to have escaped most people.
[quote][p][bold]pachallis[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ourcoalition[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pachallis[/bold] wrote: So the Green call has received the backing of both major public sector worker unions, GMB and Unison, as well as a number of campaign groups and academics. In other words the left wing groups who want to receive additional spending rather than us poor sods who have to pay for it. At least these 'groups' have no block vote to approve the green left (melon) inspired council tax increases. Let's hope that the council changes it's mind about the massive increase and focuses on reducing spending and improving efficiency instead - like the rest of us have had to do over recent years. Alternatively we can hope that this afternoon's vote of confidence against the green administration succeeds and a more realistic 2014/5 budget and spending plans can be introduced.[/p][/quote]"us poor sods who have to pay for it" - that would include the 4,700 UNISON members living in Brighton and Hove working for the Council, who are subject (ed) to these "efficiency savings", or "cuts" as we prefer to call them. These include low paid home carers, teaching assistants, and so forth, who see the service they provide to the young and old, deteriorating almost by the day. And if you think it can be made better by privatising services, you would be wrong - the service gets worse as does the pay of the staff, as big companies take their profits from both the service and the staff. That is the reality.[/p][/quote]@ourcoalition - WD unions need to justify their existence to their members. This means protecting jobs and pushing for higher pay increases. Just like in other union controlled work places there is over manning and rather than cutting hours or wages then you need to lose excess heads and make the remainder work harder. This is happening to private sector jobs across the world but this apparently can not happen to public sector jobs. Why? What makes public sector different? So make sure that the low paid home carers, teaching assistants, etc. are protected and analyse what other jobs are really required and really of benefit to the community and (unfortunately) get rid of the others. Look at processes and see what can be improved. Are practices being followed because this is always the way it has been done? What, if anything, have the unions done to look at how costs can be reduced? I'd wager 'not a lot' - instead, like you, just demanding to keep jobs and increase pay and let the non-union rate payers pick up the tab.[/p][/quote]So, basically you thoroughly approve of a downward squeeze on wages, conditions and living standards in the public and private sectors - and also expect unions to do the job of management in identifying cost reductions?? Still, the line about 'union controlled workplaces' gave me a good belly laugh. I work in a public sector body at the moment. Our most recent 'restructuring' (ie large scale redundancies) got rid of a lot of expertise, but somehow managed to ADD a tier of management! Much of the expert work is now outsourced, in some cases to expensive consultants who cost more than the sacked employees. It would be hilarious if it weren't so sad. The unions were, of course, powerless to prevent any of this, as well as the salary freeze and more expensive pensions (a de facto special tax for public sector workers only - nice one, Osborne). Council tax - yes, I would vote for a 4.5% rise, on balance. If you want decent services you have to pay for them. BTW the vote today is non binding, which seems to have escaped most people. Tring

2:06pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Thay Qon U says...

Warren Morgan wrote:
Eugenius wrote:
The hole in the budget is caused by the coalition government cutting our general fund grant for day-to-day services by £10 million each year in the name of austerity, at the same time as costs are rising due to an ageing population and inflation. The budget which we want to put to a referendum would raise £4.5 million with a guarantee that this would be spent on supporting the elderly and disabled.
The 2% threshold budget we support would increase income to the council by £2 million. Your 4.75% council tax increase would raise an additional £2.75 million if approved by a referendum costing £230, 000. Not an additional £4.5 million, not unless you are usiing the Tory council tax freeze as a starting point - which in effect would mean more cuts on top of the £23 million imposed this year.

If the additional increase is not approved at a referendum - and we plan to vote it out at Budget council anyway - the costs of sending new council tax bills to city residents wuld run into hundreds of thousands we estaimate. So far the council is not sayiing what rebilling costs would be.

So it's an extra £2.75 million, minus the costs of a referendum, which would only come if there was a yes vote. A no vote would double or treble the referendum costs and we would be back to £2m againt a backkdrop of £23m Tory cuts.
Warren Morgan's reference to the potential Council Tax rebilling costs is a very important point and presumably is known somewhere within BHCC as surely it must have been part of the evaluation by the Green Party administration into the options consideration for their unilateral decision to mount a proposed referendum into their proposed 4.75% increase in Council Tax?

The additional rebilling costs are likely to include tangible costs such as additional stationery, printing (external printers will charge a premium for any unscheduled print-run slot), postage; there will also be less tangible 'opportunity costs' such as additional BHCC staff resources being diverted to handle customer queries (including those from the old & vunerable) relating to Council Tax which are likely to increase significantly. There is a very real, potential of adverse impacts on the cash-flow from Council Tax and the need for BHCC to borrow money (with interest) during the destabilising period from April until any referendum decision and/or subsequent rebilling.

WM's estimate of the true costs of a 'No' vote in the referendum and subsequent rebilling being closer to £690,000 doesn't seem unrealistic.

Perhaps the Green Party Councillors can be personally surcharged by the BHCC external/approved auditor for any Referendum related costs above the declared cost of £230K?

Warren Morgan should certainly seek to ensure that there are accounting controls in place by BHCC accounting staff to capture the tangible and intangible costs of any Council Tax referendum & potential rebilling.
[quote][p][bold]Warren Morgan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Eugenius[/bold] wrote: The hole in the budget is caused by the coalition government cutting our general fund grant for day-to-day services by £10 million each year in the name of austerity, at the same time as costs are rising due to an ageing population and inflation. The budget which we want to put to a referendum would raise £4.5 million with a guarantee that this would be spent on supporting the elderly and disabled.[/p][/quote]The 2% threshold budget we support would increase income to the council by £2 million. Your 4.75% council tax increase would raise an additional £2.75 million if approved by a referendum costing £230, 000. Not an additional £4.5 million, not unless you are usiing the Tory council tax freeze as a starting point - which in effect would mean more cuts on top of the £23 million imposed this year. If the additional increase is not approved at a referendum - and we plan to vote it out at Budget council anyway - the costs of sending new council tax bills to city residents wuld run into hundreds of thousands we estaimate. So far the council is not sayiing what rebilling costs would be. So it's an extra £2.75 million, minus the costs of a referendum, which would only come if there was a yes vote. A no vote would double or treble the referendum costs and we would be back to £2m againt a backkdrop of £23m Tory cuts.[/p][/quote]Warren Morgan's reference to the potential Council Tax rebilling costs is a very important point and presumably is known somewhere within BHCC as surely it must have been part of the evaluation by the Green Party administration into the options consideration for their unilateral decision to mount a proposed referendum into their proposed 4.75% increase in Council Tax? The additional rebilling costs are likely to include tangible costs such as additional stationery, printing (external printers will charge a premium for any unscheduled print-run slot), postage; there will also be less tangible 'opportunity costs' such as additional BHCC staff resources being diverted to handle customer queries (including those from the old & vunerable) relating to Council Tax which are likely to increase significantly. There is a very real, potential of adverse impacts on the cash-flow from Council Tax and the need for BHCC to borrow money (with interest) during the destabilising period from April until any referendum decision and/or subsequent rebilling. WM's estimate of the true costs of a 'No' vote in the referendum and subsequent rebilling being closer to £690,000 doesn't seem unrealistic. Perhaps the Green Party Councillors can be personally surcharged by the BHCC external/approved auditor for any Referendum related costs above the declared cost of £230K? Warren Morgan should certainly seek to ensure that there are accounting controls in place by BHCC accounting staff to capture the tangible and intangible costs of any Council Tax referendum & potential rebilling. Thay Qon U

2:13pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Tring says...

Warren Morgan wrote:
For what I think are the real tactics behind this, see my blog: http://warrenmorgan.

wordpress.com/2014/0

1/29/kitcat-the-magi

cian/
I'm more interested in knowing who would lead the alternative administration you propose. Would you now back the Tories, when you refused to form a joint administration with the Greens in 2011? Also I'd like to know exactly what the policies of this forced marriage would be.

Without knowing what you would put in its place, your criticism of the present administration is pretty meaningless.
[quote][p][bold]Warren Morgan[/bold] wrote: For what I think are the real tactics behind this, see my blog: http://warrenmorgan. wordpress.com/2014/0 1/29/kitcat-the-magi cian/[/p][/quote]I'm more interested in knowing who would lead the alternative administration you propose. Would you now back the Tories, when you refused to form a joint administration with the Greens in 2011? Also I'd like to know exactly what the policies of this forced marriage would be. Without knowing what you would put in its place, your criticism of the present administration is pretty meaningless. Tring

2:21pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Sir Prised says...

Ourcoalition says...

""us poor sods who have to pay for it" - that would include the 4,700 UNISON members living in Brighton and Hove working for the Council, who are subject (ed) to these "efficiency savings", or "cuts" as we prefer to call them."

Let's see a genuine ballot of those 4700 UNISON members to see if they do actually support the above-inflation CT rise, rather than as always happens, a few Union officials dictate the Union stance. I actually have no problem with Trade Unions but they must be run democratically, which is very rarely the case I'm afraid. As an aside, even CT workers can't be protected from the reality of a struggling economy as many of those in the private sector have learnt.
Ourcoalition says... ""us poor sods who have to pay for it" - that would include the 4,700 UNISON members living in Brighton and Hove working for the Council, who are subject (ed) to these "efficiency savings", or "cuts" as we prefer to call them." Let's see a genuine ballot of those 4700 UNISON members to see if they do actually support the above-inflation CT rise, rather than as always happens, a few Union officials dictate the Union stance. I actually have no problem with Trade Unions but they must be run democratically, which is very rarely the case I'm afraid. As an aside, even CT workers can't be protected from the reality of a struggling economy as many of those in the private sector have learnt. Sir Prised

2:30pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Valerie Paynter says...

Fascinating. Last Friday's Brighton & Hove Independent announced it was hosting a public meeting on Feb 10 to debate the proposals. Now the Argus is holding one....4 days earlier. The Argus is finally taking the bait being put out by the BHINDY and defending with an aggressive move of its own. Good to see it. We need the Argus to become far more engaged and vigorous.
Fascinating. Last Friday's Brighton & Hove Independent announced it was hosting a public meeting on Feb 10 to debate the proposals. Now the Argus is holding one....4 days earlier. The Argus is finally taking the bait being put out by the BHINDY and defending with an aggressive move of its own. Good to see it. We need the Argus to become far more engaged and vigorous. Valerie Paynter

3:01pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Richada says...

Sir Prised wrote:
Ourcoalition says...

""us poor sods who have to pay for it" - that would include the 4,700 UNISON members living in Brighton and Hove working for the Council, who are subject (ed) to these "efficiency savings", or "cuts" as we prefer to call them."

Let's see a genuine ballot of those 4700 UNISON members to see if they do actually support the above-inflation CT rise, rather than as always happens, a few Union officials dictate the Union stance. I actually have no problem with Trade Unions but they must be run democratically, which is very rarely the case I'm afraid. As an aside, even CT workers can't be protected from the reality of a struggling economy as many of those in the private sector have learnt.
I'm guessing that if, miraculously, the council got another 4.75% out of us, the unions would use this as a lever to bargain a way-above inflation rate increase out of the council.........and there we go again, more strikes, more rubbish piling up, more posturing by the council leadership - more misery for the council tax payers.

Your point above is a very good one - council or union, neither "governing" body have at heart the interests of those electing them and that they claim to represent.
[quote][p][bold]Sir Prised[/bold] wrote: Ourcoalition says... ""us poor sods who have to pay for it" - that would include the 4,700 UNISON members living in Brighton and Hove working for the Council, who are subject (ed) to these "efficiency savings", or "cuts" as we prefer to call them." Let's see a genuine ballot of those 4700 UNISON members to see if they do actually support the above-inflation CT rise, rather than as always happens, a few Union officials dictate the Union stance. I actually have no problem with Trade Unions but they must be run democratically, which is very rarely the case I'm afraid. As an aside, even CT workers can't be protected from the reality of a struggling economy as many of those in the private sector have learnt.[/p][/quote]I'm guessing that if, miraculously, the council got another 4.75% out of us, the unions would use this as a lever to bargain a way-above inflation rate increase out of the council.........and there we go again, more strikes, more rubbish piling up, more posturing by the council leadership - more misery for the council tax payers. Your point above is a very good one - council or union, neither "governing" body have at heart the interests of those electing them and that they claim to represent. Richada

3:09pm Thu 30 Jan 14

KarenT says...

It won't happen. Majority will vote against it. The end.
It won't happen. Majority will vote against it. The end. KarenT

3:11pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Gaz the great says...

So could this be the end of the "Green" experiment? Even though i can afford a 5% rise, Brighton & Hove is one of the dearest places to live with some of the lowest wages in a city overall. As proven by the arrears build-up, people struggle now & how many of you readers/commenters have had that pay rise in 3 years, let alone 1? Let this occur & next year it will double this increase!
So could this be the end of the "Green" experiment? Even though i can afford a 5% rise, Brighton & Hove is one of the dearest places to live with some of the lowest wages in a city overall. As proven by the arrears build-up, people struggle now & how many of you readers/commenters have had that pay rise in 3 years, let alone 1? Let this occur & next year it will double this increase! Gaz the great

3:20pm Thu 30 Jan 14

charlie smirke says...

I still want to know why the solitary green council in the country, is the only one proposing this huge rise? How come everyone else in the whole country can manage with a maximum 2% rise ?????
I still want to know why the solitary green council in the country, is the only one proposing this huge rise? How come everyone else in the whole country can manage with a maximum 2% rise ????? charlie smirke

3:24pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Richada says...

charlie smirke wrote:
I still want to know why the solitary green council in the country, is the only one proposing this huge rise? How come everyone else in the whole country can manage with a maximum 2% rise ?????
Because it IS the only Green council in the country and wants to go out in a blaze of publicity perhaps?

Residents all over the country right now must be looking at the Brighton and Hove and thinking 'thank God I didn't vote Green'.
[quote][p][bold]charlie smirke[/bold] wrote: I still want to know why the solitary green council in the country, is the only one proposing this huge rise? How come everyone else in the whole country can manage with a maximum 2% rise ?????[/p][/quote]Because it IS the only Green council in the country and wants to go out in a blaze of publicity perhaps? Residents all over the country right now must be looking at the Brighton and Hove and thinking 'thank God I didn't vote Green'. Richada

3:52pm Thu 30 Jan 14

kopite_rob says...

Interesting that of the 33 London boroughs, 26 are freezing the tax this year and 3 are decreasing.
Interesting that of the 33 London boroughs, 26 are freezing the tax this year and 3 are decreasing. kopite_rob

3:56pm Thu 30 Jan 14

J_Brightonandhove says...

If the Greens don't get their way they'll lash out and put a cycle lane on the Bypass
If the Greens don't get their way they'll lash out and put a cycle lane on the Bypass J_Brightonandhove

4:17pm Thu 30 Jan 14

ARMANA says...

VOTE OUT THE GREENS, !!!!
VOTE OUT THE GREENS, !!!! ARMANA

4:38pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Richada says...

ARMANA wrote:
VOTE OUT THE GREENS, !!!!
It seems that the council are trying that one right now - the meeting started at 4.30, according to Mr Kitcat, the outcome of the no-confidence vote will be "utterly meaningless".

How much more of this do the Greens expect us to endure?
[quote][p][bold]ARMANA[/bold] wrote: VOTE OUT THE GREENS, !!!![/p][/quote]It seems that the council are trying that one right now - the meeting started at 4.30, according to Mr Kitcat, the outcome of the no-confidence vote will be "utterly meaningless". How much more of this do the Greens expect us to endure? Richada

4:39pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Tring says...

Richada wrote:
charlie smirke wrote:
I still want to know why the solitary green council in the country, is the only one proposing this huge rise? How come everyone else in the whole country can manage with a maximum 2% rise ?????
Because it IS the only Green council in the country and wants to go out in a blaze of publicity perhaps?

Residents all over the country right now must be looking at the Brighton and Hove and thinking 'thank God I didn't vote Green'.
But other councils aren't managing - they are cutting services.

What the Greens are saying is that they don't want to take the rap for implementing central government cuts. Is that so unreasonable?

True, there is an element of gesture politics about the referendum, which isn't going to happen and nor is the tax rise - but you could say the same of Labour's vote of no confidence too. Particularly as they won't say what they would cut, or how an alternative administration would work.
[quote][p][bold]Richada[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]charlie smirke[/bold] wrote: I still want to know why the solitary green council in the country, is the only one proposing this huge rise? How come everyone else in the whole country can manage with a maximum 2% rise ?????[/p][/quote]Because it IS the only Green council in the country and wants to go out in a blaze of publicity perhaps? Residents all over the country right now must be looking at the Brighton and Hove and thinking 'thank God I didn't vote Green'.[/p][/quote]But other councils aren't managing - they are cutting services. What the Greens are saying is that they don't want to take the rap for implementing central government cuts. Is that so unreasonable? True, there is an element of gesture politics about the referendum, which isn't going to happen and nor is the tax rise - but you could say the same of Labour's vote of no confidence too. Particularly as they won't say what they would cut, or how an alternative administration would work. Tring

4:41pm Thu 30 Jan 14

charlie smirke says...

Richada wrote:
ARMANA wrote:
VOTE OUT THE GREENS, !!!!
It seems that the council are trying that one right now - the meeting started at 4.30, according to Mr Kitcat, the outcome of the no-confidence vote will be "utterly meaningless".

How much more of this do the Greens expect us to endure?
|Kitcat is utterly meaningless himself !!
[quote][p][bold]Richada[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ARMANA[/bold] wrote: VOTE OUT THE GREENS, !!!![/p][/quote]It seems that the council are trying that one right now - the meeting started at 4.30, according to Mr Kitcat, the outcome of the no-confidence vote will be "utterly meaningless". How much more of this do the Greens expect us to endure?[/p][/quote]|Kitcat is utterly meaningless himself !! charlie smirke

4:43pm Thu 30 Jan 14

boristhespider says...

This seems to me that the Greens are attempting to guilt trip us all in to voting for this Council Tax rise. Why is it just Social Care which will be affected? Why not any other department? Why can't money be kept for Social Care if its so important and have money reduced from another department EG: Transport, this particular department seems to have far too much money considering how they squander it on pointless projects. Do we really need to dig up bowling greens or repair ponds if money is needed for important Social care? Its a case of getting your priorities right.
Of course, if this rise is voted through it then gives the Greens the excuse to say "It wasn't us that raised Council Tax - the people voted for it". Councillors are supposed to make these decisions - that is why we have elections, to put this out to a referendum shows their utter incompetence.
The mis-handling of the Council Budget by Green Councillors is an absolute disgrace and I hope every Green voter is now holding their head in shame.
4.75% this year, how much will it rise by next year, and the year after that? There is no need to rise Council Tax, prioritise services, bring in more efficiencies and accept the Govt freeze
This seems to me that the Greens are attempting to guilt trip us all in to voting for this Council Tax rise. Why is it just Social Care which will be affected? Why not any other department? Why can't money be kept for Social Care if its so important and have money reduced from another department EG: Transport, this particular department seems to have far too much money considering how they squander it on pointless projects. Do we really need to dig up bowling greens or repair ponds if money is needed for important Social care? Its a case of getting your priorities right. Of course, if this rise is voted through it then gives the Greens the excuse to say "It wasn't us that raised Council Tax - the people voted for it". Councillors are supposed to make these decisions - that is why we have elections, to put this out to a referendum shows their utter incompetence. The mis-handling of the Council Budget by Green Councillors is an absolute disgrace and I hope every Green voter is now holding their head in shame. 4.75% this year, how much will it rise by next year, and the year after that? There is no need to rise Council Tax, prioritise services, bring in more efficiencies and accept the Govt freeze boristhespider

4:48pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Richada says...

Tring wrote:
Richada wrote:
charlie smirke wrote:
I still want to know why the solitary green council in the country, is the only one proposing this huge rise? How come everyone else in the whole country can manage with a maximum 2% rise ?????
Because it IS the only Green council in the country and wants to go out in a blaze of publicity perhaps?

Residents all over the country right now must be looking at the Brighton and Hove and thinking 'thank God I didn't vote Green'.
But other councils aren't managing - they are cutting services.

What the Greens are saying is that they don't want to take the rap for implementing central government cuts. Is that so unreasonable?

True, there is an element of gesture politics about the referendum, which isn't going to happen and nor is the tax rise - but you could say the same of Labour's vote of no confidence too. Particularly as they won't say what they would cut, or how an alternative administration would work.
It would be reasonable if they had proven to those who vote for - and finance them - that, prior to these cuts, they could efficently and properly run council services.

They have proven woefully incapable of doing this, which is why I and so many others 100% oppose their proposed increase in council tax. Why should we throw good money after bad?

If the city was properly run, and we were all, reasonably (you'll never please 100% of the people......) satisfied with the service provided, then I for one would not be objecting to a 4.75% rise in council tax.

As it is, this councils vanity projects, mostly focused on transport schemes have caused misery to thousands in this city. Their inability to provide a proper refuse service has affected virtually all of us.

I'm not supporting any one party in this - but piling extra cash on top of an already chaotic administration is not going to see us out of this mess.
[quote][p][bold]Tring[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Richada[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]charlie smirke[/bold] wrote: I still want to know why the solitary green council in the country, is the only one proposing this huge rise? How come everyone else in the whole country can manage with a maximum 2% rise ?????[/p][/quote]Because it IS the only Green council in the country and wants to go out in a blaze of publicity perhaps? Residents all over the country right now must be looking at the Brighton and Hove and thinking 'thank God I didn't vote Green'.[/p][/quote]But other councils aren't managing - they are cutting services. What the Greens are saying is that they don't want to take the rap for implementing central government cuts. Is that so unreasonable? True, there is an element of gesture politics about the referendum, which isn't going to happen and nor is the tax rise - but you could say the same of Labour's vote of no confidence too. Particularly as they won't say what they would cut, or how an alternative administration would work.[/p][/quote]It would be reasonable if they had proven to those who vote for - and finance them - that, prior to these cuts, they could efficently and properly run council services. They have proven woefully incapable of doing this, which is why I and so many others 100% oppose their proposed increase in council tax. Why should we throw good money after bad? If the city was properly run, and we were all, reasonably (you'll never please 100% of the people......) satisfied with the service provided, then I for one would not be objecting to a 4.75% rise in council tax. As it is, this councils vanity projects, mostly focused on transport schemes have caused misery to thousands in this city. Their inability to provide a proper refuse service has affected virtually all of us. I'm not supporting any one party in this - but piling extra cash on top of an already chaotic administration is not going to see us out of this mess. Richada

5:27pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Tring says...

Richada wrote:
Tring wrote:
Richada wrote:
charlie smirke wrote:
I still want to know why the solitary green council in the country, is the only one proposing this huge rise? How come everyone else in the whole country can manage with a maximum 2% rise ?????
Because it IS the only Green council in the country and wants to go out in a blaze of publicity perhaps?

Residents all over the country right now must be looking at the Brighton and Hove and thinking 'thank God I didn't vote Green'.
But other councils aren't managing - they are cutting services.

What the Greens are saying is that they don't want to take the rap for implementing central government cuts. Is that so unreasonable?

True, there is an element of gesture politics about the referendum, which isn't going to happen and nor is the tax rise - but you could say the same of Labour's vote of no confidence too. Particularly as they won't say what they would cut, or how an alternative administration would work.
It would be reasonable if they had proven to those who vote for - and finance them - that, prior to these cuts, they could efficently and properly run council services.

They have proven woefully incapable of doing this, which is why I and so many others 100% oppose their proposed increase in council tax. Why should we throw good money after bad?

If the city was properly run, and we were all, reasonably (you'll never please 100% of the people......) satisfied with the service provided, then I for one would not be objecting to a 4.75% rise in council tax.

As it is, this councils vanity projects, mostly focused on transport schemes have caused misery to thousands in this city. Their inability to provide a proper refuse service has affected virtually all of us.

I'm not supporting any one party in this - but piling extra cash on top of an already chaotic administration is not going to see us out of this mess.
I agree that the current administration have not covered themselves in glory over the bins and the binmen. But I am not sure that installing Geoffrey Theobald or Warren Morgan in the Leader's office would immediately solve the problem.

As for what you call 'vanity projects', well, that's in the eye of the beholder. Personally I am a keen cyclist so I'm pleased to see more cycle lanes. And it was in their manifesto - a rare example of a political party doing what it says it's going to, and yet they get it in the neck. Ditto 20 mph. And I really like what they've done with Seven Dials, having been very unsure when I saw the plans.

Financially they've made some positive moves in getting rid of some of the overpaid higher management inherited from the Tories, and in getting more income from the property owned by the council.

Obviously it suits the other parties to paint a picture of chaos and mismanagement, and the Argus, following a period of Green love-in, now takes a very hostile line. It is a one-sided view, and not particularly fair.
[quote][p][bold]Richada[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tring[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Richada[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]charlie smirke[/bold] wrote: I still want to know why the solitary green council in the country, is the only one proposing this huge rise? How come everyone else in the whole country can manage with a maximum 2% rise ?????[/p][/quote]Because it IS the only Green council in the country and wants to go out in a blaze of publicity perhaps? Residents all over the country right now must be looking at the Brighton and Hove and thinking 'thank God I didn't vote Green'.[/p][/quote]But other councils aren't managing - they are cutting services. What the Greens are saying is that they don't want to take the rap for implementing central government cuts. Is that so unreasonable? True, there is an element of gesture politics about the referendum, which isn't going to happen and nor is the tax rise - but you could say the same of Labour's vote of no confidence too. Particularly as they won't say what they would cut, or how an alternative administration would work.[/p][/quote]It would be reasonable if they had proven to those who vote for - and finance them - that, prior to these cuts, they could efficently and properly run council services. They have proven woefully incapable of doing this, which is why I and so many others 100% oppose their proposed increase in council tax. Why should we throw good money after bad? If the city was properly run, and we were all, reasonably (you'll never please 100% of the people......) satisfied with the service provided, then I for one would not be objecting to a 4.75% rise in council tax. As it is, this councils vanity projects, mostly focused on transport schemes have caused misery to thousands in this city. Their inability to provide a proper refuse service has affected virtually all of us. I'm not supporting any one party in this - but piling extra cash on top of an already chaotic administration is not going to see us out of this mess.[/p][/quote]I agree that the current administration have not covered themselves in glory over the bins and the binmen. But I am not sure that installing Geoffrey Theobald or Warren Morgan in the Leader's office would immediately solve the problem. As for what you call 'vanity projects', well, that's in the eye of the beholder. Personally I am a keen cyclist so I'm pleased to see more cycle lanes. And it was in their manifesto - a rare example of a political party doing what it says it's going to, and yet they get it in the neck. Ditto 20 mph. And I really like what they've done with Seven Dials, having been very unsure when I saw the plans. Financially they've made some positive moves in getting rid of some of the overpaid higher management inherited from the Tories, and in getting more income from the property owned by the council. Obviously it suits the other parties to paint a picture of chaos and mismanagement, and the Argus, following a period of Green love-in, now takes a very hostile line. It is a one-sided view, and not particularly fair. Tring

6:14pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Fight_Back says...

To quote Tw*t Kitkat -
"No, no, no - we no longer want the grubby Greens" !
To quote Tw*t Kitkat - "No, no, no - we no longer want the grubby Greens" ! Fight_Back

6:33pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Brighton Living says...

Parking so High nobody can afford to come to Brighton, a 20MPH Limit and a useless bus Lane so nobody can be bothered to drive in Brighton and know this is even on the ITV news a bout a tax rise......... Can the Green really put Brighton and Hove in a worser light to the rest of the country But not only this they now want the residents to pay more for their f----k-ups, FFS please get these Tw@ts out once and for all.
Parking so High nobody can afford to come to Brighton, a 20MPH Limit and a useless bus Lane so nobody can be bothered to drive in Brighton and know this is even on the ITV news a bout a tax rise......... Can the Green really put Brighton and Hove in a worser light to the rest of the country But not only this they now want the residents to pay more for their f----k-ups, FFS please get these Tw@ts out once and for all. Brighton Living

7:02pm Thu 30 Jan 14

ARMANA says...

Richada wrote:
ARMANA wrote:
VOTE OUT THE GREENS, !!!!
It seems that the council are trying that one right now - the meeting started at 4.30, according to Mr Kitcat, the outcome of the no-confidence vote will be "utterly meaningless".

How much more of this do the Greens expect us to endure?
Iv never known a political party do a Kamikaze dive with voters, as the Greens have done in Brighton. It will be a celebration indeed when they are gone,
[quote][p][bold]Richada[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ARMANA[/bold] wrote: VOTE OUT THE GREENS, !!!![/p][/quote]It seems that the council are trying that one right now - the meeting started at 4.30, according to Mr Kitcat, the outcome of the no-confidence vote will be "utterly meaningless". How much more of this do the Greens expect us to endure?[/p][/quote]Iv never known a political party do a Kamikaze dive with voters, as the Greens have done in Brighton. It will be a celebration indeed when they are gone, ARMANA

7:05pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Martha Gunn says...

Wake up Argus!!!

Vote of No Confidence in Green council passed 29 votes to 20.

Has it escaped your attention?
Wake up Argus!!! Vote of No Confidence in Green council passed 29 votes to 20. Has it escaped your attention? Martha Gunn

7:10pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Idontbelieveit1948 says...

Eugenius wrote:
kopite_rob wrote:
In April 2013 £15.8 million was owed in council tax, Brighton and Hove City Council had the highest arrears in Sussex.
This equates to £125 for each of the city’s 126,000 households.
The Councils own website hasn't posted collection rates for Council tax or Business rates since September 2013.
Before asking for yet more money from those that do pay their tax, can the council not get better at collecting from those that don't.
This is a red herring. A lag on collection is normal and accounted for (it doesn't mean the tax is not collected), we have the highest population in Sussex, also other councils write-off debts earlier rather than make the effort to retrieve them. Annual collection rate for Brighton & Hove is 98% which is better than many councils.
It might be a red herring to you Eugenius, fact is it is still £ 15.8 million owed, and you saying it doesn't mean it isn't collected doesn't actually mean it is collected either !

Get on with collecting what's owed please
[quote][p][bold]Eugenius[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]kopite_rob[/bold] wrote: In April 2013 £15.8 million was owed in council tax, Brighton and Hove City Council had the highest arrears in Sussex. This equates to £125 for each of the city’s 126,000 households. The Councils own website hasn't posted collection rates for Council tax or Business rates since September 2013. Before asking for yet more money from those that do pay their tax, can the council not get better at collecting from those that don't.[/p][/quote]This is a red herring. A lag on collection is normal and accounted for (it doesn't mean the tax is not collected), we have the highest population in Sussex, also other councils write-off debts earlier rather than make the effort to retrieve them. Annual collection rate for Brighton & Hove is 98% which is better than many councils.[/p][/quote]It might be a red herring to you Eugenius, fact is it is still £ 15.8 million owed, and you saying it doesn't mean it isn't collected doesn't actually mean it is collected either ! Get on with collecting what's owed please Idontbelieveit1948

7:12pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Fight_Back says...

Martha Gunn wrote:
Wake up Argus!!!

Vote of No Confidence in Green council passed 29 votes to 20.

Has it escaped your attention?
They're not exactly a "news" organisation are they ?
[quote][p][bold]Martha Gunn[/bold] wrote: Wake up Argus!!! Vote of No Confidence in Green council passed 29 votes to 20. Has it escaped your attention?[/p][/quote]They're not exactly a "news" organisation are they ? Fight_Back

7:16pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Idontbelieveit1948 says...

Warren Morgan wrote:
For what I think are the real tactics behind this, see my blog: http://warrenmorgan.

wordpress.com/2014/0

1/29/kitcat-the-magi

cian/
No thanks your lot are almost as economically incontinent as the Greens
[quote][p][bold]Warren Morgan[/bold] wrote: For what I think are the real tactics behind this, see my blog: http://warrenmorgan. wordpress.com/2014/0 1/29/kitcat-the-magi cian/[/p][/quote]No thanks your lot are almost as economically incontinent as the Greens Idontbelieveit1948

7:18pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Takeresponsibility says...

They haven't voted yet
They haven't voted yet Takeresponsibility

7:21pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Idontbelieveit1948 says...

charlie smirke wrote:
I still want to know why the solitary green council in the country, is the only one proposing this huge rise? How come everyone else in the whole country can manage with a maximum 2% rise ?????
Hopefully a case of turkeys voting for Christmas !
[quote][p][bold]charlie smirke[/bold] wrote: I still want to know why the solitary green council in the country, is the only one proposing this huge rise? How come everyone else in the whole country can manage with a maximum 2% rise ?????[/p][/quote]Hopefully a case of turkeys voting for Christmas ! Idontbelieveit1948

7:44pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Takeresponsibility says...

No the motion has passed what happens next? Will Kitcat resign? If he ignores this surely he is going against the will of the people of Brighton?
No the motion has passed what happens next? Will Kitcat resign? If he ignores this surely he is going against the will of the people of Brighton? Takeresponsibility

7:55pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Richada says...

Takeresponsibility wrote:
No the motion has passed what happens next? Will Kitcat resign? If he ignores this surely he is going against the will of the people of Brighton?
No, it's business as usual!

As expected, Kitkat raises two fingers at all of us.

Long live the moanerati!
[quote][p][bold]Takeresponsibility[/bold] wrote: No the motion has passed what happens next? Will Kitcat resign? If he ignores this surely he is going against the will of the people of Brighton?[/p][/quote]No, it's business as usual! As expected, Kitkat raises two fingers at all of us. Long live the moanerati! Richada

9:04pm Thu 30 Jan 14

KarenT says...

Well it's been an 'interesting' exercise in that we all got to see how an idealistic yet completely inexperienced political party did its job when they were voted in. Kind of like asking a bunch of children to take charge of a city. They want a rise in council tax, higher than any other council/borough in the UK. They've failed terribly at running this city, and now they want the residents/taxpayers to pay for the almighty balls-up they've made of everything. It'll all be over soon, and not soon enough.
Well it's been an 'interesting' exercise in that we all got to see how an idealistic yet completely inexperienced political party did its job when they were voted in. Kind of like asking a bunch of children to take charge of a city. They want a rise in council tax, higher than any other council/borough in the UK. They've failed terribly at running this city, and now they want the residents/taxpayers to pay for the almighty balls-up they've made of everything. It'll all be over soon, and not soon enough. KarenT

9:07pm Thu 30 Jan 14

KarenT says...

KarenT wrote:
It won't happen. Majority will vote against it. The end.
Oh, and I forgot to say there's best part of a quarter million pounds down the toilet, just to execute the utterly pointless referendum!
[quote][p][bold]KarenT[/bold] wrote: It won't happen. Majority will vote against it. The end.[/p][/quote]Oh, and I forgot to say there's best part of a quarter million pounds down the toilet, just to execute the utterly pointless referendum! KarenT

9:26pm Thu 30 Jan 14

KarenT says...

KarenT wrote:
Well it's been an 'interesting' exercise in that we all got to see how an idealistic yet completely inexperienced political party did its job when they were voted in. Kind of like asking a bunch of children to take charge of a city. They want a rise in council tax, higher than any other council/borough in the UK. They've failed terribly at running this city, and now they want the residents/taxpayers to pay for the almighty balls-up they've made of everything. It'll all be over soon, and not soon enough.
Actually reminds me of that fly-on-the-wall TV show from a few years ago when a bunch of children had to take responsibility for running a household! :D
[quote][p][bold]KarenT[/bold] wrote: Well it's been an 'interesting' exercise in that we all got to see how an idealistic yet completely inexperienced political party did its job when they were voted in. Kind of like asking a bunch of children to take charge of a city. They want a rise in council tax, higher than any other council/borough in the UK. They've failed terribly at running this city, and now they want the residents/taxpayers to pay for the almighty balls-up they've made of everything. It'll all be over soon, and not soon enough.[/p][/quote]Actually reminds me of that fly-on-the-wall TV show from a few years ago when a bunch of children had to take responsibility for running a household! :D KarenT

9:41pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Fight_Back says...

So two hours after the vote the Argus still don't have a story up ? Yet when the police or fire service tweet something it's up in minutes. THAT'S what happens when you run your "local" paper operations out of Southampton after sacking loads of Brighton based staff ! Newspaper - my ar5e !!!!
So two hours after the vote the Argus still don't have a story up ? Yet when the police or fire service tweet something it's up in minutes. THAT'S what happens when you run your "local" paper operations out of Southampton after sacking loads of Brighton based staff ! Newspaper - my ar5e !!!! Fight_Back

9:48pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Martha Gunn says...

I really don't want to join the general knocking of the Argus.

But honestly when a vote of no confidence in the local council takes place surely someone should have kept awake to cover it.

Poor showing - must do better next time.
I really don't want to join the general knocking of the Argus. But honestly when a vote of no confidence in the local council takes place surely someone should have kept awake to cover it. Poor showing - must do better next time. Martha Gunn

11:28pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Dealing with idiots says...

Just heard that Bill Randal and Geofrey Bowden are throwing in the towel at the next election.
Just heard that Bill Randal and Geofrey Bowden are throwing in the towel at the next election. Dealing with idiots

12:05am Fri 31 Jan 14

Martha Gunn says...

Of course they are.
And a lot more of them!
The Veganistas are both demoralised and deprived of protein.
Of course they are. And a lot more of them! The Veganistas are both demoralised and deprived of protein. Martha Gunn

12:14am Fri 31 Jan 14

Nathan Roberts says...

Having read *all* of the comments on this blog, I think that many are under a serious misunderstanding of the situation in other places. In real terms, income for local authorities nationwide has gone down by 40%. Tory and Lib Dem run councils obviously cannot have a referendum, as it shows the national parties are incompetent. Labour run councils similarly cannot do it as the Tory press would round on the story and demonstrate that labour "have learned nothing and don't understand financial responsibility." At the same time, services to the elderly and most vulnerable are being slashed and dignity lost.

I am not a Green supporter however on this issue, I do think they are the only party that *could* present this argument and admire their courage to do so.
Having read *all* of the comments on this blog, I think that many are under a serious misunderstanding of the situation in other places. In real terms, income for local authorities nationwide has gone down by 40%. Tory and Lib Dem run councils obviously cannot have a referendum, as it shows the national parties are incompetent. Labour run councils similarly cannot do it as the Tory press would round on the story and demonstrate that labour "have learned nothing and don't understand financial responsibility." At the same time, services to the elderly and most vulnerable are being slashed and dignity lost. I am not a Green supporter however on this issue, I do think they are the only party that *could* present this argument and admire their courage to do so. Nathan Roberts

12:41am Fri 31 Jan 14

Catey cat says...

I grew up in Africa where you paid for everything and if you didn't work you didn't eat! The problem is three fold here. Firstly when are people going to realize that there is no bottomless pit of money and that costs do go up. Secondly, the country is running into problems paying for some people who, quite honestly feel they have the right to not work and expect those who do work to pay their way rough life.
Thirdly, the council wastes a lot of money because the people who run the place have also grown up in a society where everything has been taken for granted and is a throw away society. I'm so glad I was brought up to work hard and expect only fair deals for the work I put in- maybe that explains why I already own my own house and car outright after 12 years of living and working here and that's on top of paying taxes etc to cover all the bureaucracy and waste!
I grew up in Africa where you paid for everything and if you didn't work you didn't eat! The problem is three fold here. Firstly when are people going to realize that there is no bottomless pit of money and that costs do go up. Secondly, the country is running into problems paying for some people who, quite honestly feel they have the right to not work and expect those who do work to pay their way rough life. Thirdly, the council wastes a lot of money because the people who run the place have also grown up in a society where everything has been taken for granted and is a throw away society. I'm so glad I was brought up to work hard and expect only fair deals for the work I put in- maybe that explains why I already own my own house and car outright after 12 years of living and working here and that's on top of paying taxes etc to cover all the bureaucracy and waste! Catey cat

1:36am Fri 31 Jan 14

Zeta Function says...

Catey cat wrote:
I grew up in Africa where you paid for everything and if you didn't work you didn't eat! The problem is three fold here. Firstly when are people going to realize that there is no bottomless pit of money and that costs do go up. Secondly, the country is running into problems paying for some people who, quite honestly feel they have the right to not work and expect those who do work to pay their way rough life.
Thirdly, the council wastes a lot of money because the people who run the place have also grown up in a society where everything has been taken for granted and is a throw away society. I'm so glad I was brought up to work hard and expect only fair deals for the work I put in- maybe that explains why I already own my own house and car outright after 12 years of living and working here and that's on top of paying taxes etc to cover all the bureaucracy and waste!
Brighton and Hove isn't Soweto where, according to local authorities, about 19000 homes are still deprived of drinking water and almost 72 000 do not have minimal sanitation services.
[quote][p][bold]Catey cat[/bold] wrote: I grew up in Africa where you paid for everything and if you didn't work you didn't eat! The problem is three fold here. Firstly when are people going to realize that there is no bottomless pit of money and that costs do go up. Secondly, the country is running into problems paying for some people who, quite honestly feel they have the right to not work and expect those who do work to pay their way rough life. Thirdly, the council wastes a lot of money because the people who run the place have also grown up in a society where everything has been taken for granted and is a throw away society. I'm so glad I was brought up to work hard and expect only fair deals for the work I put in- maybe that explains why I already own my own house and car outright after 12 years of living and working here and that's on top of paying taxes etc to cover all the bureaucracy and waste![/p][/quote]Brighton and Hove isn't Soweto where, according to local authorities, about 19000 homes are still deprived of drinking water and almost 72 000 do not have minimal sanitation services. Zeta Function

7:36am Fri 31 Jan 14

Thay Qon U says...

Fight_Back wrote:
So two hours after the vote the Argus still don't have a story up ? Yet when the police or fire service tweet something it's up in minutes. THAT'S what happens when you run your "local" paper operations out of Southampton after sacking loads of Brighton based staff ! Newspaper - my ar5e !!!!
This could be because their Local Govt reporter (Tim R) is allegedly leaving or has left to join a local competitor?
[quote][p][bold]Fight_Back[/bold] wrote: So two hours after the vote the Argus still don't have a story up ? Yet when the police or fire service tweet something it's up in minutes. THAT'S what happens when you run your "local" paper operations out of Southampton after sacking loads of Brighton based staff ! Newspaper - my ar5e !!!![/p][/quote]This could be because their Local Govt reporter (Tim R) is allegedly leaving or has left to join a local competitor? Thay Qon U

10:32am Fri 31 Jan 14

Richada says...

Dealing with idiots wrote:
Just heard that Bill Randal and Geofrey Bowden are throwing in the towel at the next election.
The honerable thing to do would be to throw it in now........

.......sooner or later, they'll all be gone.

The longer they leave it, the more harm they will do their own party.
[quote][p][bold]Dealing with idiots[/bold] wrote: Just heard that Bill Randal and Geofrey Bowden are throwing in the towel at the next election.[/p][/quote]The honerable thing to do would be to throw it in now........ .......sooner or later, they'll all be gone. The longer they leave it, the more harm they will do their own party. Richada

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