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Protest over unfair financial settlement for Kingston Council

Edward Davey MP has secured a short debate in the House of Commons about the unfair financial settlement granted to Kingston Council this year. It is to held on Friday 23rd Feb 2007 at 2.30pm.

The financial settlement is unfair because (1) despite the spend per head in Kingston being £680 whilst the London average is £852 the Council has to meet 68% of expenditure through the Council Tax whilst the London average is £42% (2) Kingston collects £67 million in business tax yet gets only £27 million back (3) 29p out of every £1 paid in rents by our Council tenants is taken away by Government and not returned (4) through this policy of taking money away for other areas and the capping regime Kingston Council has to make cuts of £22 million over the next four years (5) despite being one of the lowest spending authorities Kingston has the highest Council Tax in London.

Whatever your views about the Government or the Council I doubt anybody can seriously dispute the injustice of this situation. In order to protest an application has been made today to stage a protest in Parliament Square on Friday 23rd Feb between 12 noon and 2pm and I would urge as many people as possible to attend and bring with them colourful protest materials to make the case for our area.

Derrick Chester

Comments

Sadly no,like Ming I am far too old.

Dear Mojogit,

Well said. You WILL be standing for election I assume?

If not, then why are you waiting for someone else to lead?

Only the hated poll tax will work effectively,where all adult residents contribute.

I am sure the spin doctors can rebrand "poll tax" and give it a suitable mission statement and "engage" with the "community" to produce something more equitable than the outrageous council tax.

Sadly we have no strong leadership emerging in any party as the PC lobby quickly stamp on anything that may disadvantage the already well established underclass and the concept of trying to bring everyone up in life is scorned in the,so far,quite successful efforts to reduce us all to lowest possible levels.

Not many countries openly hate the commercial champions that have emerged and success is a dirty word as is competition so we seem doomed to slide towards the abyss and have a nanny state look after us and tell us what to think and do.

Dear Anonymous,

1. It didn't have any impact, but then it never had a hope of doing so with a government that doesn't listen!

2. If there is another protest I will be there!

3. Can anything be done? Not in the short term. Consider this though. Labour & Conservative will not change the system. Only the Liberal Democrats are on record as saying they would replace it. The replacement cost to the people must be lower, and nothing else is acceptable.

4. Anything else? Well why don't you stand for council yourself? I tired and lost. I will try again if asked. The one thing none of us must do is give up.

There is not much that can be done, except voting the Lib-Dem council out of Kingston as soon as possible. When Richmond was under Lib-Dem control, their tax increases were out of control each year. It has got marginally better unders the Conservatives, so the same may happen here.

I agree with the comments above about unfair practices from central Government squeezing grants. Clearly, this would apply to Lib-Dems or Conservatives, but I have seen several isolated incidents of fund-wasting lately by the current council, which I believe to be indicative of their general approach.

For example, the Clock Tower on Claremont Road has been 'under repair' for over a year now, covered in expensive scaffolding. A small notice appeared mid way through 2006 declaring that they were having trouble sourcing the correct materials to make the repair. Fair enough, this could cause a few weeks delay as it is an old building, but not a year - it is a 100 year old Clock Tower not the Pyramids of Giza!

Check this 'fact' yourself. I saw the May 2006 Conservative material and I used it as a Lib-Dem on the doorstep with conservatives. It didn't help, but the facts were there and I believe you still find them on old web sites.

1. It is true to say Council Tax has risen under the Lib-Dems...it would be a lie to say otherwise.
2. It did also rise on the graph printed by the conservatives...
3. The interesting fact was that the rises were less steep under Lib Dems than Conservatives.
4. Having said all of that it doesn't help us poor sods who have to pay it.

Keep up your research 'anonymous'...I like your style!

1. Believe the Clock Tower is a listed building so I suspect it has to be repaired with the original stone.
2. As you are surely an expert on this matter you will doubtless know what type of stone, so maybe you should contact the council to see why there is a delay!

Council tax rises this forthcoming year - Kingston has the second highest increase planned - it seems like the protest didn't have much impact - can we have another?

Can anything else be done?

Did you go? What happened?

Hello,

Sorry to be listed as 'anonymous'. I thought I had logged on, but if once more it shows up as anonymous my name is Les jones.

Yes I did go to the protest. What happened? Well over 50 people turned up including 9 Lib-Dem councillors plus Ed Davey MP & susan Kramer MP. There was, for me, a very self concious protest with banner, posters etc next to the Winston Churchill statue in Parliament Square. Now for those who do not know the location of the statue it is sited where it cannot be reached by pedestrian crossings...because there aren't any! So for middle-of-road Lib-Dems it was case of dashing between the traffic when the lights allowed.

Will the protest have any effect. On it's own, no. Little by little though matters will change I suspect. Now there were no Conservatives present. To be fair they might not have realised there was a protest even if some of them supported it. Then again, the local conservatives monitor Ed Davey's website so they know the protest was going to happen. I suspect that they will issue a statement in due course. Perhaps they will explain why the Conservative deputy leader of Wandsworth seems to be making the same sounds as Kingston/Surbiton Lib-Dems after the government put a 'big squeeze' on their grant. Result, Wandsworth is no longer has the lowest council tax in the country. Research this yourself, and replace Wandsworth with Kingston.....the same complaints. So who is telling the truth? Wandsworth or Kingston Conservatives?

I say make your own minds up, and watch this space.

My regards to all who read this,
Les Jones

Well I for one will be going to the protest in Parliament Square. I'm taking some holiday time and I only found out on Monday evening.

I suppose if you really believe in the cause, then you must go.

As for signatures. Well over 1,900,000 people have signed a petition on the No.10 website. Will tony blair listen....I doubt it!

Methinks it will be interesting to see the reaction of local Conservatives in Kingston & Surbiton. They talk a good fight, but will they be at Parliament Square this Friday? This is a Conservative unfair charge, controlled by a grabbing Labour Government, and the result is.....blame the Liberal Democrats.

I know nothing about protests but would it help or hinder any chances? Would a list of signatures be a better thing? A lot of people who have to work wouldn't be able to make it.

I think that any kind of presence would help to highlight the issues although due to the short notice and the timing of course many people will not be able to go. However I think that many other things could be planned and a petition on the number 10 website could be an option worth considering. Derrick.

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