Taxing time for council
W HO in their right minds would serve as a local councillor at this time? You are damned if you do and damned if you don't. We know there's no great love lost for Stoke-on-Trent City Council by the electorate and we totally understand why. These are incredibly difficult days for all of us attempting to scrape a living together, to keep empty tummies full, to survive in business or the endless search for a job. Most of us will not remember such a difficult times as we have today. Once more the city council is faced with having to cut deeper into services at the bequest of the Government. Can these cuts be achieved while at the same time the authority decides to freeze the council tax? Clearly, like any private industry, local councils across Britain spent too freely in the past. Often, having too much cash doesn't benefit communities. Look at the amount of regeneration money this area had and look at what a mess it has left. Why? Simply, because the cash was spent on the wrong things such as too many staff or too higher salaries, a recipe for disaster because nothing actually gets achieved if the bulk of the money goes on not actually achieving anything.
N ow, having made so many cuts, there is an argument for the austerity measures to be reduced to stimulate growth. But there is no sign of a U-turn. So once again our councillors are going to have to make tough decisions. As most people who run businesses know, often the first cuts aren't too difficult because there's ways of trimming the budget. But this time, it will get more difficult with tougher decisions to be made. So we have some sympathy with the councillors who unfortunately have had some poor publicity after a less than helpful documentary series, The Year The Town Hall Shrank. We know they will not win in the popularity stakes, but hard decisions have to be made. Perhaps clawing back some of the millions owed in council tax might ease the pain.
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