LiveLive webchat: The Green Party's Jason Kitcat answers your questions on Brighton and Hove's controversial council budget

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Summary

  • Jason Kitcat, leader of the Brighton and Hove Green Party group and council leader, answers your questions ahead of the crunch council budget debate on Thursday.

1:30pm

And with that, this live webchat is closing. Thanks to everyone who took part, and remember to come back tomorrow lunchtime at 1pm when we'll be putting your questions to Conservative party group leader Geoffrey Theobald.

1:29pm

Mr Kitcat says:

My choice would be the apple and cinnamon granola by Rude Health.

1:28pm

And finally, as with Mr Morgan yesterday, let's end with that lighthearted question from Twitter, just for laughs.

@oneoneoneone asks:

If you could only ever eat one cereal for breakfast for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

1:27pm

Mr Kitcat says:

I am a director of Coast to Capital (C2C) because I am leader of the council. It is a Government-created body to replace regional development agencies.

However, I have not had any involvement in the C2C decision making process on their loan to the i360.

This role with C2C is not paid in any way, and is just part of my duties as leader of the council.

I am absolutely confident there is no conflict of interest and everything has been done appropriately.

1:25pm

From the comments, Dealing with idiots

Jason, you have now taken a directorship of Coast to Capital. This is the body pushing for the i360. Can you explain why this is not a conflict of interests? How much are you remunerated? Will you be taking this post up full time any time soon?

1:25pm

Mr Kitcat says:

The mediation bit that you mention was a matter arranged by the local party at the expense of local party members. It was nothing to do with the city council, or councillors.

Very little is spent on hospitality, travel and training costs. One of the first things we did as an administration was to get rid of free dinners for councillors, which was costing taxpayers £30,000 a year.

I've covered 20mph in an earlier response.

Any surplus we make from parking has to be spent on transport matters, by law. The vast bulk of that is spent on paying for concessionary bus passes for the disabled and elderly. That costs more than £10 million a year and if we didn't fund it from parking surpluses it would come at the expense of another council service.

On the i360 - all council costs are being covered by the developer and, should it be agreed, the deal will make the council a significant surplus every year for the next 25 years.

This will help when we know that the main Government grants to council will disappear by 2020.

1:22pm

From the comments, the red head

How much of the council tax rise would pay for mediators, advisers and counsellors brought in again to try to get some order within the Green Party? How much towards hospitality, travel and training costs? How much for exploratory reports for new 20mph/parking/i360 schemes?

Mr Kitcat, this is a time of austerity which means that we need to prioritise and cleanse council facilities of luxuries.

1:21pm

Mr Kitcat says:

I'm very sorry for the disruption you've had in your rubbish collection. Unfortunately, we're not able to offer rebates on council tax, by law.

This is the largest reorganisation of rounds for CityClean in over a decade. The end result, we believe, will be a better service, increased recycling rates and savings we can use to purchase more reliable vehicles.

It has been a difficult journey, and I am sorry about that, but I believe that everyone in that service is working really hard to get to the quality you deserve.

1:20pm

From the comments, Zorniza

Before setting new levels of council tax, can you organise a refund for those of us who paid in advance for rubbish collection over the current financial year but did not receive the service as originally agreed. This service has been offered for many years but amazingly it is now not working and has to be re-invented. As with any contract between suppliers and consumers, please refund.

1:19pm

Mr Kitcat says:

I, like many other council leaders, long for the day when Government would give us real power over local taxation.

Sadly, today is not that day.

We are required to put the same increase as a percentage across all bands, and we also cannot vary the bands.

I'm aware of some of the proposals which have come around, including rebates and means testing, and have sought advice on them.

So far, none have been viable, but we are always open to new ideas. 

The key thing now is to lobby all parties to influence their manifestos to give more power and freedom to local government.

1:18pm

From the comments, rolivan

I asked Warren Morgan about the possibility of freezing Council Tax for the Lower Bands as they are the residents most likely to be the ones suffering.He thought it a was an interesting proposal.

Since then I have had a reply from [Argus commenter and professed Green party member] Eugenius saying that there are discounts available to people on a means tested basis. Why has this not been discussed by your group or any of the others for that matter or as I said is it kept quiet and made available to those in the know?

1:17pm

Arts - our relatively small investment in arts and culture is multiplied many times over by the matching funds it releases from the Arts Council and other external funders.

As we saw at the launch of yet another marvellous Brighton Festival last night, arts and culture in our city are essential for jobs, the visitor economy and our international status as an attractive city to work, live and play.

So, we don't think cutting those budgets is the right thing to do, but we are seeking efficiencies wherever possible - and some savings have been made through that approach.

For instance, we've frozen the support we give to the Dome Festival Ltd and we've moved quite a few events to a more self-financing approach.

1:14pm

Travellers - the travellers budget is there to meet the statutory duty the council has in assessing unauthorised encampments, getting judicial approval for evictions and supporting the needs of traveller families with local connections.

Because of historic opposition manoeuvres that have trimmed this budget, it has always overspent. But the reality is, we have no more, and some years even fewer encampments than under previous administrations.

So, by seeking to cut this budget, they know they are just going to push it into greater overspend.

We have no choice but to go to court and incur costs if there is an unauthorised encampment on our land.

The one thing we could do to reduce this cost is to build a permanent travellers' site. We have won planning approval for that and the previous Conservative administration won Government money to build it.

So it makes no sense for them to oppose this site while also cutting the budget.

1:11pm

Mr Kitcat says:

Let's take them one by one.

Communications - The council's next spend is around £738,000 on communications, which includes media work, marketing, social media, graphic design, training, crisis management and much more, including public health promotion.

Most business advice would suggest spending between one and 10% of a firm's annual budget on marketing. Our communications budget represents less than 0.01% of our annual spend.

If we can't communicate with our staff and those who depend on our services, then we will do less well for our city.

It is an empty gesture for opposition parties to quote wrong figures about this service, and attack one which is a quarter of the size of what it was under their administration.

1:09pm

From the comments, RottingdeanRant

Whenever you talk about cuts it is always focused on the essentials such as for the elderly, infirm or disadvantaged. Why don't you cut the less essential items such as the communications, travellers, arts budgets, instead?

1:08pm

Mr Kitcat says:

20mph roll out has been funded by one-off capital money which can only be used for transport projects and cannot be used to prop up other services such as social care.

All parties supported the principle of 20mph schemes across the city in committee and at scrutiny.

There are many studies, including one by the NHS, which show that 20mph actually saves the local public sector money by reducing accidents and improving health.

There is also a very good study from the City of London which shows that 20mph significantly reduces pollution from diesel vehicles.

The actions we've taken since 2011 have helped us dodge the recently announce EU fines for those parts of the UK that haven't tackled air pollution.

I don't think your questioner would have thanked us if we had spent public money paying a fine on this matter.

1:06pm

From email, Jason Traves

Why are you spending so much of our money on 20mph zones that very few people adhere to?

1:05pm

Mr Kitcat says:

The development of London Road in recent years is really encouraging and there is no doubt that the council and the Portas Pilot have played a part.

But ultimately, it has been private enterprise and small local businesses who have done a lot of the hard work.

We also have had investment there in the former Co-Op site, the former Sainsbury's site, and the Open Market.

That is private development and investment, which has helped move things forward there.

Residents and businesses in the Regency Square and Preston Street area believe that similar moves to invest there would make a big difference.

1:04pm

From email, John Keenan (former Argus business editor):

The rebirth of London Road shows what happens when traders clean up their shop fronts, throw away their rubbish responsibly, and offer food that people want to eat.

Why can't this approach work in Preston Street without using taxpayers' money to fund a private company's expansion plans?

1:03pm

In answer to the question would you be happy with a 2% question, Mr Kitcat gives a emphatic: "No."

He gives the same answer to the political stunt question.

1:02pm

Mr Kitcat says:

We made a political choice to have a two-month period of consultation on a draft budget. We think this is the right approach, particularly in such difficult times for councils.

The response we got from that was very clear. 85% of people said they wanted to increase or maintain spending on social care.

56% said they were open to the idea of an increase in council tax.

We also got feedback from the third sector, unions, service users and the cross-party budget scrutiny panel that pressure on social care was a very serious concern.

So, we have proposed a budget that with a 4.75% increase would protect social care from the worst of the cuts.

It is worth remembering that since 2011, inflation has risen 9.6%, whilst council tax here has risen under 2%.

So with demand growing, our proposal is a serious one, a long term one that helps protect key services. That is what we will vote for at budget council.

12:59pm

From email, Barry Robson

Reading Argus reports, it now seems a real possibility that next year’s council tax will end up being 2%. Would the Greens be happy with this? And if so, was the referendum proposal just a political stunt?

12:59pm

Mr Kitcat says

Quite simply, these rules are set by Government. They have declared that everyone on the electoral roll will have a vote in a council tax referendum.

But if we are really saying that you can't vote unless you pay council tax, that would take us back to the pre-Victorian era in this country, when only male landowners could vote.

12:58pm

From the comments, Martha Gunn

Seems odd that something called localism gives the vote in this referendum to people who are not local and only temporarily resident.

The enfranchisement of non-tax payers is giving rise to huge resentment.

Especially so when these non-tax paying temporary residents form the slim majority by which Lucas and Kitcat get elected.

12:58pm

Mr Kitcat says:

The sad reality is that with the Government's cuts to our funding, every single department in the council has to reduce its spending. We are doing everything we can to try and raise new sources of income but that won't be enough to fill the gap.

Social care is seeing a double whammy of declining budgets and increased demands. For example, we will see a 20% growth in the number of over-85s by 2020.

Social care is by far our biggest budget, so it is inevitably under great pressure. We have put forward a carefully considered budget that would protect key social care services from the worst of the Government's cuts.

12:56pm

From the comments, Tallywhacker
Why not freeze the budget of departments that have nothing to do with the suddenly desperate "vulnerable"? That way any increase could be kept at a minimum.

12:55pm

Mr Kitcat says:

Firstly, every single service the council provides had a value for money analysis done as part of this budget process.

This means every single service was independently benchmarked with data from councils across the UK. That information is provided to all three parties.

We used that to inform how we met the budget gap for the year ahead. It is important to note that we have already taken £60 million out of our budget since 2011, and there is another £100 million to take out in the next four years.

We are seeking to meet this challenge in the most open and accountable way possible.

Our budget process has been the most open and inclusive in the council's history.

12:53pm

Good afternoon, and welcome to the second in our series of three live webchats ahead of tomorrow's crunch Brighton and Hove City Council budget debate.

Today, we are joined by council leader and Green Group convener Jason Kitcat, who is poised and ready to answer your questions.

First up, a question from the comments left on our website earlier this week from wexler:

What steps are you going to take to value check all our services, and ensure the taxpayer gets value for money when providing services to all. And, these services need to be delivered efficiently and cost effectively - what are you going to do to ensure accountability of our public servants.

 

Comments (30)

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1:05pm Wed 26 Feb 14

Fight_Back says...

"every single department in the council has to reduce its spending"

Now that's not true ! What about the traveller budget or the communications budget or the councillors allowances budget ?
"every single department in the council has to reduce its spending" Now that's not true ! What about the traveller budget or the communications budget or the councillors allowances budget ? Fight_Back
  • Score: 12

1:19pm Wed 26 Feb 14

fredflintstone1 says...

Why, when the roads are potholed, rubbish isn't being collected regularly etc., are you wasting officers' time, and actively putting people's lives at risk by proposing to allow cattle and sheep to wander all over the Ditchling Road, as well as into people's gardens in this area ?

Don't you think your priorities are totally warped and out of touch with those of the vast majority of residents?
Why, when the roads are potholed, rubbish isn't being collected regularly etc., are you wasting officers' time, and actively putting people's lives at risk by proposing to allow cattle and sheep to wander all over the Ditchling Road, as well as into people's gardens in this area ? Don't you think your priorities are totally warped and out of touch with those of the vast majority of residents? fredflintstone1
  • Score: 14

1:25pm Wed 26 Feb 14

peachesncream says...

Mr KitKat stated earlier: "We also have had investment there in the former Co-Op site, the former Sainsbury's site, and the Open Market.*

It is interesting that 2 of these sites are being developed for student accommodation - without whose votes the Greens would never have been elected. It was in the interests of the Green party to increase the student population wherever possible so that more could be indoctrinated into supporting their hair-brained ideas!

Why should public money be spent in the ultimate interests of a political party?
Mr KitKat stated earlier: "We also have had investment there in the former Co-Op site, the former Sainsbury's site, and the Open Market.* It is interesting that 2 of these sites are being developed for student accommodation - without whose votes the Greens would never have been elected. It was in the interests of the Green party to increase the student population wherever possible so that more could be indoctrinated into supporting their hair-brained ideas! Why should public money be spent in the ultimate interests of a political party? peachesncream
  • Score: 14

1:46pm Wed 26 Feb 14

JWinner says...

I keep hearing this nonsense about the votes of students having been critical to the election of Green councillors in Brighton but I never see any facts to back that assertion up.
I keep hearing this nonsense about the votes of students having been critical to the election of Green councillors in Brighton but I never see any facts to back that assertion up. JWinner
  • Score: -11

2:18pm Wed 26 Feb 14

Km3010 says...

Hordean (Ewe Bottom) is being opposed because of environmental issues. No one is disagreeing that we should not have a permanent travellers site, however not immediately over a main water adit ( underground tunnel that collects our DRINKING WATER) Supplying nearly a million people. At the cost of hundreds and thousands of pounds to us the council tax payer to maintain and preserve it from contamination. We also need to consider the further impact on Patcham Village with flooding issues. If the pumping Station had to close due to water contamination Patcham would flood on a more regular t basis . Not Green or sustainable Caroline Lucas MP should be supporting Brighton's water issues. This is not good for the citizens of Brighton or the travellers. This will not stop illegal encampments either.
Hordean (Ewe Bottom) is being opposed because of environmental issues. No one is disagreeing that we should not have a permanent travellers site, however not immediately over a main water adit ( underground tunnel that collects our DRINKING WATER) Supplying nearly a million people. At the cost of hundreds and thousands of pounds to us the council tax payer to maintain and preserve it from contamination. We also need to consider the further impact on Patcham Village with flooding issues. If the pumping Station had to close due to water contamination Patcham would flood on a more regular t basis . Not Green or sustainable Caroline Lucas MP should be supporting Brighton's water issues. This is not good for the citizens of Brighton or the travellers. This will not stop illegal encampments either. Km3010
  • Score: 8

2:19pm Wed 26 Feb 14

Jo Wadsworth says...

fredflintstone1 wrote:
Why, when the roads are potholed, rubbish isn't being collected regularly etc., are you wasting officers' time, and actively putting people's lives at risk by proposing to allow cattle and sheep to wander all over the Ditchling Road, as well as into people's gardens in this area ?

Don't you think your priorities are totally warped and out of touch with those of the vast majority of residents?
Hi Fred,

Apologies for not having got round to asking your question Fred - we had a few left over at the end of the webchat, and we decided to try and stick to ones which were about the budget, or finance generally.

We will continue to cover the issue of sheep grazing around Ditchling Road of course - if you'd like to speak to us please email news@theargus.co.uk
[quote][p][bold]fredflintstone1[/bold] wrote: Why, when the roads are potholed, rubbish isn't being collected regularly etc., are you wasting officers' time, and actively putting people's lives at risk by proposing to allow cattle and sheep to wander all over the Ditchling Road, as well as into people's gardens in this area ? Don't you think your priorities are totally warped and out of touch with those of the vast majority of residents?[/p][/quote]Hi Fred, Apologies for not having got round to asking your question Fred - we had a few left over at the end of the webchat, and we decided to try and stick to ones which were about the budget, or finance generally. We will continue to cover the issue of sheep grazing around Ditchling Road of course - if you'd like to speak to us please email news@theargus.co.uk Jo Wadsworth
  • Score: 1

2:19pm Wed 26 Feb 14

her professional says...

Good effort Mr Kitcat, plenty of hard facts and figures in there to back up your case, unlike most of the comments on these blogs.
Good effort Mr Kitcat, plenty of hard facts and figures in there to back up your case, unlike most of the comments on these blogs. her professional
  • Score: -10

2:38pm Wed 26 Feb 14

Richada says...

Mr Kitcat says.......

"But if we are really saying that you can't vote unless you pay council tax, that would take us back to the pre-Victorian era in this country, when only male landowners could vote."

Thus proving how totally out of touch with reality he is. Of three of our immediate neighbours two are single female householders the other a couple like us.

Sorry Mt Kitcat, but as a council taxpayer I really do not see why a group of, largely, itinerant "residents" should get to influence how much increase we pay to the council in tax.......

.......after all, the lady next door who does not pay for BT Broadband does not get to dictate how much I pay to BT for the privilege does she?
Mr Kitcat says....... "But if we are really saying that you can't vote unless you pay council tax, that would take us back to the pre-Victorian era in this country, when only male landowners could vote." Thus proving how totally out of touch with reality he is. Of three of our immediate neighbours two are single female householders the other a couple like us. Sorry Mt Kitcat, but as a council taxpayer I really do not see why a group of, largely, itinerant "residents" should get to influence how much increase we pay to the council in tax....... .......after all, the lady next door who does not pay for BT Broadband does not get to dictate how much I pay to BT for the privilege does she? Richada
  • Score: 1

2:45pm Wed 26 Feb 14

JWinner says...

No, but then the rest of your street doesn't have access to your supply of BT Broadband supply. Perhaps if they did they might take an interest in how it was funded.
No, but then the rest of your street doesn't have access to your supply of BT Broadband supply. Perhaps if they did they might take an interest in how it was funded. JWinner
  • Score: 2

2:58pm Wed 26 Feb 14

gheese77 says...

Richada wrote:
Mr Kitcat says.......

"But if we are really saying that you can't vote unless you pay council tax, that would take us back to the pre-Victorian era in this country, when only male landowners could vote."

Thus proving how totally out of touch with reality he is. Of three of our immediate neighbours two are single female householders the other a couple like us.

Sorry Mt Kitcat, but as a council taxpayer I really do not see why a group of, largely, itinerant "residents" should get to influence how much increase we pay to the council in tax.......

.......after all, the lady next door who does not pay for BT Broadband does not get to dictate how much I pay to BT for the privilege does she?
How far do we take this ! Maybe only income tax payers should be allowed to vote in national elections. Or maybe only landownowners

You cant have democracy based on how much tax you pay.
[quote][p][bold]Richada[/bold] wrote: Mr Kitcat says....... "But if we are really saying that you can't vote unless you pay council tax, that would take us back to the pre-Victorian era in this country, when only male landowners could vote." Thus proving how totally out of touch with reality he is. Of three of our immediate neighbours two are single female householders the other a couple like us. Sorry Mt Kitcat, but as a council taxpayer I really do not see why a group of, largely, itinerant "residents" should get to influence how much increase we pay to the council in tax....... .......after all, the lady next door who does not pay for BT Broadband does not get to dictate how much I pay to BT for the privilege does she?[/p][/quote]How far do we take this ! Maybe only income tax payers should be allowed to vote in national elections. Or maybe only landownowners You cant have democracy based on how much tax you pay. gheese77
  • Score: 1

3:53pm Wed 26 Feb 14

Bill in Hanover says...

gheese77 wrote:
Richada wrote:
Mr Kitcat says.......

"But if we are really saying that you can't vote unless you pay council tax, that would take us back to the pre-Victorian era in this country, when only male landowners could vote."

Thus proving how totally out of touch with reality he is. Of three of our immediate neighbours two are single female householders the other a couple like us.

Sorry Mt Kitcat, but as a council taxpayer I really do not see why a group of, largely, itinerant "residents" should get to influence how much increase we pay to the council in tax.......

.......after all, the lady next door who does not pay for BT Broadband does not get to dictate how much I pay to BT for the privilege does she?
How far do we take this ! Maybe only income tax payers should be allowed to vote in national elections. Or maybe only landownowners

You cant have democracy based on how much tax you pay.
Democracy should not be based on how much tax you pay but it should be based on whether or not you contribute to the local tax, If you don't pay towards the tax you don't get a vote.
[quote][p][bold]gheese77[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Richada[/bold] wrote: Mr Kitcat says....... "But if we are really saying that you can't vote unless you pay council tax, that would take us back to the pre-Victorian era in this country, when only male landowners could vote." Thus proving how totally out of touch with reality he is. Of three of our immediate neighbours two are single female householders the other a couple like us. Sorry Mt Kitcat, but as a council taxpayer I really do not see why a group of, largely, itinerant "residents" should get to influence how much increase we pay to the council in tax....... .......after all, the lady next door who does not pay for BT Broadband does not get to dictate how much I pay to BT for the privilege does she?[/p][/quote]How far do we take this ! Maybe only income tax payers should be allowed to vote in national elections. Or maybe only landownowners You cant have democracy based on how much tax you pay.[/p][/quote]Democracy should not be based on how much tax you pay but it should be based on whether or not you contribute to the local tax, If you don't pay towards the tax you don't get a vote. Bill in Hanover
  • Score: 1

4:19pm Wed 26 Feb 14

gheese77 says...

Bill in Hanover wrote:
gheese77 wrote:
Richada wrote:
Mr Kitcat says.......

"But if we are really saying that you can't vote unless you pay council tax, that would take us back to the pre-Victorian era in this country, when only male landowners could vote."

Thus proving how totally out of touch with reality he is. Of three of our immediate neighbours two are single female householders the other a couple like us.

Sorry Mt Kitcat, but as a council taxpayer I really do not see why a group of, largely, itinerant "residents" should get to influence how much increase we pay to the council in tax.......

.......after all, the lady next door who does not pay for BT Broadband does not get to dictate how much I pay to BT for the privilege does she?
How far do we take this ! Maybe only income tax payers should be allowed to vote in national elections. Or maybe only landownowners

You cant have democracy based on how much tax you pay.
Democracy should not be based on how much tax you pay but it should be based on whether or not you contribute to the local tax, If you don't pay towards the tax you don't get a vote.
So you would deny the vote to anyone who did not pay tax, such as pensioners, disabled etc.
Thats not democracy
Having said that I don' like the way ex-pats & tax exiles still get to vote here
[quote][p][bold]Bill in Hanover[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gheese77[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Richada[/bold] wrote: Mr Kitcat says....... "But if we are really saying that you can't vote unless you pay council tax, that would take us back to the pre-Victorian era in this country, when only male landowners could vote." Thus proving how totally out of touch with reality he is. Of three of our immediate neighbours two are single female householders the other a couple like us. Sorry Mt Kitcat, but as a council taxpayer I really do not see why a group of, largely, itinerant "residents" should get to influence how much increase we pay to the council in tax....... .......after all, the lady next door who does not pay for BT Broadband does not get to dictate how much I pay to BT for the privilege does she?[/p][/quote]How far do we take this ! Maybe only income tax payers should be allowed to vote in national elections. Or maybe only landownowners You cant have democracy based on how much tax you pay.[/p][/quote]Democracy should not be based on how much tax you pay but it should be based on whether or not you contribute to the local tax, If you don't pay towards the tax you don't get a vote.[/p][/quote]So you would deny the vote to anyone who did not pay tax, such as pensioners, disabled etc. Thats not democracy Having said that I don' like the way ex-pats & tax exiles still get to vote here gheese77
  • Score: 2

4:32pm Wed 26 Feb 14

Roundbill says...

Oh good grief, why is everyone getting so easily sucked into an irrelevant nonsense about the disenfranchised? Kitcat has distracted you with utter cr@p. Nobody is saying only male landowners should be allowed to vote: all we are asking is that people should vote in their home constituencies. Most students still refer to their parent's town as "home" (and still take their laundry back there a few times a year, when they go there for the holidays) so why don't they vote on issues affecting that area, rather than on issues affecting a city where they're staying for a couple of years before disappearing without having to face the long-term consequences of their vote?
Oh good grief, why is everyone getting so easily sucked into an irrelevant nonsense about the disenfranchised? Kitcat has distracted you with utter cr@p. Nobody is saying only male landowners should be allowed to vote: all we are asking is that people should vote in their home constituencies. Most students still refer to their parent's town as "home" (and still take their laundry back there a few times a year, when they go there for the holidays) so why don't they vote on issues affecting that area, rather than on issues affecting a city where they're staying for a couple of years before disappearing without having to face the long-term consequences of their vote? Roundbill
  • Score: 11

4:54pm Wed 26 Feb 14

Twibbler says...

Has anyone read the Green's leaflet on their proposed budget referendum? The content appears to be nothing short of emotional blackmail. My heart goes out to the staff at Able & Willing, a council supported project for adults with disabilities, who have been named as a group who "will lose out" if the council doesn't get its way.....let's hope they were aware their jobs were under threat before the rest of us knew.

I'd like to understand how much Mr Kitcat thinks it will save to close down a productive business, albeit council supported, and then pay benefits to the 20 staff.

A few more thoughts....
I don't understand why there's so much emphasis placed on the over 85's. Dealing in percentages is grossly misleading.....20% of what Mr Kitcat? Just because someone reaches this milestone in life doesn't mean they'll automatically be reliant on council resources; indeed, there are probably many younger people with a greater need.

Having stated that B&H have already met their objective on emissions, perhaps there should be more consideration over how to introduce a more flexible budget. When we're told it's the social care budget that's under strain, and that we're expected to top it up, it's galling to see our money still pouring into non-essential road "improvements". When I manage my personal budget, I use my meagre funds where they will give me the best value.
Has anyone read the Green's leaflet on their proposed budget referendum? The content appears to be nothing short of emotional blackmail. My heart goes out to the staff at Able & Willing, a council supported project for adults with disabilities, who have been named as a group who "will lose out" if the council doesn't get its way.....let's hope they were aware their jobs were under threat before the rest of us knew. I'd like to understand how much Mr Kitcat thinks it will save to close down a productive business, albeit council supported, and then pay benefits to the 20 staff. A few more thoughts.... I don't understand why there's so much emphasis placed on the over 85's. Dealing in percentages is grossly misleading.....20% of what Mr Kitcat? Just because someone reaches this milestone in life doesn't mean they'll automatically be reliant on council resources; indeed, there are probably many younger people with a greater need. Having stated that B&H have already met their objective on emissions, perhaps there should be more consideration over how to introduce a more flexible budget. When we're told it's the social care budget that's under strain, and that we're expected to top it up, it's galling to see our money still pouring into non-essential road "improvements". When I manage my personal budget, I use my meagre funds where they will give me the best value. Twibbler
  • Score: 2

5:07pm Wed 26 Feb 14

her professional says...

gheese77 wrote:
Bill in Hanover wrote:
gheese77 wrote:
Richada wrote:
Mr Kitcat says.......

"But if we are really saying that you can't vote unless you pay council tax, that would take us back to the pre-Victorian era in this country, when only male landowners could vote."

Thus proving how totally out of touch with reality he is. Of three of our immediate neighbours two are single female householders the other a couple like us.

Sorry Mt Kitcat, but as a council taxpayer I really do not see why a group of, largely, itinerant "residents" should get to influence how much increase we pay to the council in tax.......

.......after all, the lady next door who does not pay for BT Broadband does not get to dictate how much I pay to BT for the privilege does she?
How far do we take this ! Maybe only income tax payers should be allowed to vote in national elections. Or maybe only landownowners

You cant have democracy based on how much tax you pay.
Democracy should not be based on how much tax you pay but it should be based on whether or not you contribute to the local tax, If you don't pay towards the tax you don't get a vote.
So you would deny the vote to anyone who did not pay tax, such as pensioners, disabled etc.
Thats not democracy
Having said that I don' like the way ex-pats & tax exiles still get to vote here
.....and just a reminder that most pensioners pay tax.
[quote][p][bold]gheese77[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bill in Hanover[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gheese77[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Richada[/bold] wrote: Mr Kitcat says....... "But if we are really saying that you can't vote unless you pay council tax, that would take us back to the pre-Victorian era in this country, when only male landowners could vote." Thus proving how totally out of touch with reality he is. Of three of our immediate neighbours two are single female householders the other a couple like us. Sorry Mt Kitcat, but as a council taxpayer I really do not see why a group of, largely, itinerant "residents" should get to influence how much increase we pay to the council in tax....... .......after all, the lady next door who does not pay for BT Broadband does not get to dictate how much I pay to BT for the privilege does she?[/p][/quote]How far do we take this ! Maybe only income tax payers should be allowed to vote in national elections. Or maybe only landownowners You cant have democracy based on how much tax you pay.[/p][/quote]Democracy should not be based on how much tax you pay but it should be based on whether or not you contribute to the local tax, If you don't pay towards the tax you don't get a vote.[/p][/quote]So you would deny the vote to anyone who did not pay tax, such as pensioners, disabled etc. Thats not democracy Having said that I don' like the way ex-pats & tax exiles still get to vote here[/p][/quote].....and just a reminder that most pensioners pay tax. her professional
  • Score: 3

5:10pm Wed 26 Feb 14

her professional says...

Roundbill wrote:
Oh good grief, why is everyone getting so easily sucked into an irrelevant nonsense about the disenfranchised? Kitcat has distracted you with utter cr@p. Nobody is saying only male landowners should be allowed to vote: all we are asking is that people should vote in their home constituencies. Most students still refer to their parent's town as "home" (and still take their laundry back there a few times a year, when they go there for the holidays) so why don't they vote on issues affecting that area, rather than on issues affecting a city where they're staying for a couple of years before disappearing without having to face the long-term consequences of their vote?
So how long must people live in Brighton for before you give them a vote, or is it just students who are under attack?
[quote][p][bold]Roundbill[/bold] wrote: Oh good grief, why is everyone getting so easily sucked into an irrelevant nonsense about the disenfranchised? Kitcat has distracted you with utter cr@p. Nobody is saying only male landowners should be allowed to vote: all we are asking is that people should vote in their home constituencies. Most students still refer to their parent's town as "home" (and still take their laundry back there a few times a year, when they go there for the holidays) so why don't they vote on issues affecting that area, rather than on issues affecting a city where they're staying for a couple of years before disappearing without having to face the long-term consequences of their vote?[/p][/quote]So how long must people live in Brighton for before you give them a vote, or is it just students who are under attack? her professional
  • Score: -10

5:12pm Wed 26 Feb 14

her professional says...

her professional wrote:
gheese77 wrote:
Bill in Hanover wrote:
gheese77 wrote:
Richada wrote:
Mr Kitcat says.......

"But if we are really saying that you can't vote unless you pay council tax, that would take us back to the pre-Victorian era in this country, when only male landowners could vote."

Thus proving how totally out of touch with reality he is. Of three of our immediate neighbours two are single female householders the other a couple like us.

Sorry Mt Kitcat, but as a council taxpayer I really do not see why a group of, largely, itinerant "residents" should get to influence how much increase we pay to the council in tax.......

.......after all, the lady next door who does not pay for BT Broadband does not get to dictate how much I pay to BT for the privilege does she?
How far do we take this ! Maybe only income tax payers should be allowed to vote in national elections. Or maybe only landownowners

You cant have democracy based on how much tax you pay.
Democracy should not be based on how much tax you pay but it should be based on whether or not you contribute to the local tax, If you don't pay towards the tax you don't get a vote.
So you would deny the vote to anyone who did not pay tax, such as pensioners, disabled etc.
Thats not democracy
Having said that I don' like the way ex-pats & tax exiles still get to vote here
.....and just a reminder that most pensioners pay tax.
.....sorry, and I'm sure lots of disabled people do too.
[quote][p][bold]her professional[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gheese77[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bill in Hanover[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gheese77[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Richada[/bold] wrote: Mr Kitcat says....... "But if we are really saying that you can't vote unless you pay council tax, that would take us back to the pre-Victorian era in this country, when only male landowners could vote." Thus proving how totally out of touch with reality he is. Of three of our immediate neighbours two are single female householders the other a couple like us. Sorry Mt Kitcat, but as a council taxpayer I really do not see why a group of, largely, itinerant "residents" should get to influence how much increase we pay to the council in tax....... .......after all, the lady next door who does not pay for BT Broadband does not get to dictate how much I pay to BT for the privilege does she?[/p][/quote]How far do we take this ! Maybe only income tax payers should be allowed to vote in national elections. Or maybe only landownowners You cant have democracy based on how much tax you pay.[/p][/quote]Democracy should not be based on how much tax you pay but it should be based on whether or not you contribute to the local tax, If you don't pay towards the tax you don't get a vote.[/p][/quote]So you would deny the vote to anyone who did not pay tax, such as pensioners, disabled etc. Thats not democracy Having said that I don' like the way ex-pats & tax exiles still get to vote here[/p][/quote].....and just a reminder that most pensioners pay tax.[/p][/quote].....sorry, and I'm sure lots of disabled people do too. her professional
  • Score: -1

5:18pm Wed 26 Feb 14

ronrostog says...

Even his choice of cereal makes him a ****.
Even his choice of cereal makes him a ****. ronrostog
  • Score: 8

6:35pm Wed 26 Feb 14

her professional says...

ronrostog wrote:
Even his choice of cereal makes him a ****.
I've changed my mind, not everyone should have a vote - maybe have an intelligence test rather than financial qualification.
[quote][p][bold]ronrostog[/bold] wrote: Even his choice of cereal makes him a ****.[/p][/quote]I've changed my mind, not everyone should have a vote - maybe have an intelligence test rather than financial qualification. her professional
  • Score: -3

6:40pm Wed 26 Feb 14

the red head says...

I should have asked how much was spent in hospitality, travel and expenses. Saying they scrapped dinners is saying nothing much. Unless you work in a restaurant, no job gives you dinners... It would have been nice to have some facts about hotel expenses, petrol, train, bus expenses... Not mentioning childcare costs, which both he and his wife apparently claim seperately for the same children.
This man is living high at our expense. Get rid of bad rubbish.
I should have asked how much was spent in hospitality, travel and expenses. Saying they scrapped dinners is saying nothing much. Unless you work in a restaurant, no job gives you dinners... It would have been nice to have some facts about hotel expenses, petrol, train, bus expenses... Not mentioning childcare costs, which both he and his wife apparently claim seperately for the same children. This man is living high at our expense. Get rid of bad rubbish. the red head
  • Score: 6

6:42pm Wed 26 Feb 14

Man of steel says...

Leaving his choice of breakfast aside, am I the only one that is now concerned about him being a director of the firm that wishes to install the white elephant, am I also the only one that does not quite believe him when he says that there is no conflict of interest?
Leaving his choice of breakfast aside, am I the only one that is now concerned about him being a director of the firm that wishes to install the white elephant, am I also the only one that does not quite believe him when he says that there is no conflict of interest? Man of steel
  • Score: 8

6:48pm Wed 26 Feb 14

Ania Green says...

Would anyone like to post again with any SENSIBLE questions please.

This is your chance to ask proper questions instead of just coming on here to mock Jason Kitkat.
Would anyone like to post again with any SENSIBLE questions please. This is your chance to ask proper questions instead of just coming on here to mock Jason Kitkat. Ania Green
  • Score: -7

7:03pm Wed 26 Feb 14

LeonBIank666 says...

I see this odious man only answered the questions that weren't too bad. What an utterly irrelevant post when The Argus run this yesterday. All the good questions have been expunged.

Kitkat..............
.you now look more of a buffoon than you did before. And before you looked like a bigger buffoon than Mad Jock Buffoon of Buffoonshire.
I see this odious man only answered the questions that weren't too bad. What an utterly irrelevant post when The Argus run this yesterday. All the good questions have been expunged. Kitkat.............. .you now look more of a buffoon than you did before. And before you looked like a bigger buffoon than Mad Jock Buffoon of Buffoonshire. LeonBIank666
  • Score: 7

7:49pm Wed 26 Feb 14

scuba1 says...

Kitkat I'm fed up with looking at your gormless face and your surname irritates me ... Sorry !
Kitkat I'm fed up with looking at your gormless face and your surname irritates me ... Sorry ! scuba1
  • Score: 6

7:59pm Wed 26 Feb 14

just-a-person says...

Waste of time that was then.
Waste of time that was then. just-a-person
  • Score: 4

8:46pm Wed 26 Feb 14

Richada says...

Man of steel wrote:
Leaving his choice of breakfast aside, am I the only one that is now concerned about him being a director of the firm that wishes to install the white elephant, am I also the only one that does not quite believe him when he says that there is no conflict of interest?
No, you're not!
[quote][p][bold]Man of steel[/bold] wrote: Leaving his choice of breakfast aside, am I the only one that is now concerned about him being a director of the firm that wishes to install the white elephant, am I also the only one that does not quite believe him when he says that there is no conflict of interest?[/p][/quote]No, you're not! Richada
  • Score: 5

9:07pm Wed 26 Feb 14

ronrostog says...

her professional wrote:
ronrostog wrote:
Even his choice of cereal makes him a ****.
I've changed my mind, not everyone should have a vote - maybe have an intelligence test rather than financial qualification.
Ok, you first. Are you in favour of Shitkat and the Greens. You are? Oh dear, bit of a common sense vacuum going on masquerading as someone who thinks they have a superior intelligence over others I see. No vote for you then......
[quote][p][bold]her professional[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ronrostog[/bold] wrote: Even his choice of cereal makes him a ****.[/p][/quote]I've changed my mind, not everyone should have a vote - maybe have an intelligence test rather than financial qualification.[/p][/quote]Ok, you first. Are you in favour of Shitkat and the Greens. You are? Oh dear, bit of a common sense vacuum going on masquerading as someone who thinks they have a superior intelligence over others I see. No vote for you then...... ronrostog
  • Score: 2

10:15pm Wed 26 Feb 14

JWinner says...

the red head wrote:
I should have asked how much was spent in hospitality, travel and expenses. Saying they scrapped dinners is saying nothing much. Unless you work in a restaurant, no job gives you dinners... It would have been nice to have some facts about hotel expenses, petrol, train, bus expenses... Not mentioning childcare costs, which both he and his wife apparently claim seperately for the same children.
This man is living high at our expense. Get rid of bad rubbish.
That information is certainly required for us to hold elected officials to account. It's probably available on the council website, and if it isn't, I imagine a Freedom of Information request would get you it. Though you seem to already know the answer about the childcare costs, so why would you bother asking?
[quote][p][bold]the red head[/bold] wrote: I should have asked how much was spent in hospitality, travel and expenses. Saying they scrapped dinners is saying nothing much. Unless you work in a restaurant, no job gives you dinners... It would have been nice to have some facts about hotel expenses, petrol, train, bus expenses... Not mentioning childcare costs, which both he and his wife apparently claim seperately for the same children. This man is living high at our expense. Get rid of bad rubbish.[/p][/quote]That information is certainly required for us to hold elected officials to account. It's probably available on the council website, and if it isn't, I imagine a Freedom of Information request would get you it. Though you seem to already know the answer about the childcare costs, so why would you bother asking? JWinner
  • Score: 1

6:34am Thu 27 Feb 14

JHunty says...

Ania Green wrote:
Would anyone like to post again with any SENSIBLE questions please.

This is your chance to ask proper questions instead of just coming on here to mock Jason Kitkat.
Shouldn't that read "this is your chance to ask proper questions instead of just coming on here to mock my husband"

Or are you just a sock puppet?

Ive got one, Jason do you believe that Brightonians are inbred as your wife stated?

Or how about Christina got kicked off the Green group and roundly abused for not supporting the motion in favour of gay marriage, but your wife who also failed to support the motion by walking out of the chamber just before the vote took place faced no consequences for her actions, is this fair?
[quote][p][bold]Ania Green[/bold] wrote: Would anyone like to post again with any SENSIBLE questions please. This is your chance to ask proper questions instead of just coming on here to mock Jason Kitkat.[/p][/quote]Shouldn't that read "this is your chance to ask proper questions instead of just coming on here to mock my husband" Or are you just a sock puppet? Ive got one, Jason do you believe that Brightonians are inbred as your wife stated? Or how about Christina got kicked off the Green group and roundly abused for not supporting the motion in favour of gay marriage, but your wife who also failed to support the motion by walking out of the chamber just before the vote took place faced no consequences for her actions, is this fair? JHunty
  • Score: 4

10:58am Thu 27 Feb 14

fredflintstone1 says...

Jo Wadsworth wrote:
fredflintstone1 wrote:
Why, when the roads are potholed, rubbish isn't being collected regularly etc., are you wasting officers' time, and actively putting people's lives at risk by proposing to allow cattle and sheep to wander all over the Ditchling Road, as well as into people's gardens in this area ?

Don't you think your priorities are totally warped and out of touch with those of the vast majority of residents?
Hi Fred,

Apologies for not having got round to asking your question Fred - we had a few left over at the end of the webchat, and we decided to try and stick to ones which were about the budget, or finance generally.

We will continue to cover the issue of sheep grazing around Ditchling Road of course - if you'd like to speak to us please email news@theargus.co.uk
Quite understand, Jo. Thanks for the response. The only thing I'd add is that a van went off the road and down the bank there last week. There's no open space either side of the road for sheep and cattle to move, other than to stampede across the road if they're frightened.
[quote][p][bold]Jo Wadsworth[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]fredflintstone1[/bold] wrote: Why, when the roads are potholed, rubbish isn't being collected regularly etc., are you wasting officers' time, and actively putting people's lives at risk by proposing to allow cattle and sheep to wander all over the Ditchling Road, as well as into people's gardens in this area ? Don't you think your priorities are totally warped and out of touch with those of the vast majority of residents?[/p][/quote]Hi Fred, Apologies for not having got round to asking your question Fred - we had a few left over at the end of the webchat, and we decided to try and stick to ones which were about the budget, or finance generally. We will continue to cover the issue of sheep grazing around Ditchling Road of course - if you'd like to speak to us please email news@theargus.co.uk[/p][/quote]Quite understand, Jo. Thanks for the response. The only thing I'd add is that a van went off the road and down the bank there last week. There's no open space either side of the road for sheep and cattle to move, other than to stampede across the road if they're frightened. fredflintstone1
  • Score: 0

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