Repeal new law or intention of giving councils greater power and control

The prime minister, it has been reported,now intends to give greater power to the councils, local government over us, the public. They already have too much already and have often tyrannically misused their power when it suits their interests against our, the public's interests. Also I thought that it was David Cameron's idea to give power back to the people from local if not central government, so why the about turn on a good idea and the promise of a start of true democracy and equality in the law. It is simply not fair to allow the perpetuation of tyranny in any and all of its forms. If a branch of government acts evilly or always from pure self interest and greed it must be iniquitous to allow its continued existence and also, I add, its tyranny!!

Why is this idea important?

The prime minister, it has been reported,now intends to give greater power to the councils, local government over us, the public. They already have too much already and have often tyrannically misused their power when it suits their interests against our, the public's interests. Also I thought that it was David Cameron's idea to give power back to the people from local if not central government, so why the about turn on a good idea and the promise of a start of true democracy and equality in the law. It is simply not fair to allow the perpetuation of tyranny in any and all of its forms. If a branch of government acts evilly or always from pure self interest and greed it must be iniquitous to allow its continued existence and also, I add, its tyranny!!

Let Councillors Have Opinions

If an elected councillor states that they think a proposed local development is bad for the area, the council solicitor jumps in and stops them voting on it.

If someone is elected on a particular platform – keep the local school open, support a bypass, support/oppose building flats, oppose airport expansion – and gets elected they are banned from voting on it!

Luncay!

But the law says councillors must approach each vote with an open mind, so a councillor with a (seemingly) pre-determined position is disqualified or the vote can be challenged.

Politics is based on policy, but anyone with a policy cannot vote!

Change the law so that:

Councillors for a specific affected area CAN have a pre-stated opinion.

Councillors outside the area should not, but are allowed to make biassed comments PROVIDED they are prepared to listen to arguments on both sides and allow the possibility that they may be persauded the other way.

Why is this idea important?

If an elected councillor states that they think a proposed local development is bad for the area, the council solicitor jumps in and stops them voting on it.

If someone is elected on a particular platform – keep the local school open, support a bypass, support/oppose building flats, oppose airport expansion – and gets elected they are banned from voting on it!

Luncay!

But the law says councillors must approach each vote with an open mind, so a councillor with a (seemingly) pre-determined position is disqualified or the vote can be challenged.

Politics is based on policy, but anyone with a policy cannot vote!

Change the law so that:

Councillors for a specific affected area CAN have a pre-stated opinion.

Councillors outside the area should not, but are allowed to make biassed comments PROVIDED they are prepared to listen to arguments on both sides and allow the possibility that they may be persauded the other way.

Public Sector Workers and Political Activity

Public sector workers – civil servants, council employees and others – are banned from any kind of "political" activity if above a particular grade. They may not "engaging in a range of political activities" even if they do not brief elected officers, the press or public, and the activity is totally unrelated to their work or even the work of their employer. For example, a computer technician on spinal point 44 and working for the local council cannot legally write to the local newspaper supporting a campaign to keep a local school open because political parties at the education authority would have differing views, making the matter "political".  If just one MP or councillor expresses a dissenting opinion the matter is political.

Technically it is not even legal for any public sector worker on Scale Point 44 or above (about £30,000) to post an idea here or even click on the vote button. This is absurd. The Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (section 2) was introduced to stop abuses where council workers had phantom jobs and were really party workers getting council pay. This abuse is rare today and well understood to be corrupt.

It might be argued that exemptions can be obtained by applying. But in many cases people want to keep work and politics separate, and applying for official permission ends up labelling people.

In some organisations people on SC44 are many levels below the top of the organisation, have never met the elected officers and do not brief press, public or elected officials. The definition needs to be tightened. The top 2 tiers of management should be banned from political activity. Departments and people specifically involved in briefing elected officers, public or press on political matters should be banned. Other people should NOT be banned.

Why is this idea important?

Public sector workers – civil servants, council employees and others – are banned from any kind of "political" activity if above a particular grade. They may not "engaging in a range of political activities" even if they do not brief elected officers, the press or public, and the activity is totally unrelated to their work or even the work of their employer. For example, a computer technician on spinal point 44 and working for the local council cannot legally write to the local newspaper supporting a campaign to keep a local school open because political parties at the education authority would have differing views, making the matter "political".  If just one MP or councillor expresses a dissenting opinion the matter is political.

Technically it is not even legal for any public sector worker on Scale Point 44 or above (about £30,000) to post an idea here or even click on the vote button. This is absurd. The Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (section 2) was introduced to stop abuses where council workers had phantom jobs and were really party workers getting council pay. This abuse is rare today and well understood to be corrupt.

It might be argued that exemptions can be obtained by applying. But in many cases people want to keep work and politics separate, and applying for official permission ends up labelling people.

In some organisations people on SC44 are many levels below the top of the organisation, have never met the elected officers and do not brief press, public or elected officials. The definition needs to be tightened. The top 2 tiers of management should be banned from political activity. Departments and people specifically involved in briefing elected officers, public or press on political matters should be banned. Other people should NOT be banned.

Coordination of roadworks

At present many companies have the right to shut off sections of road at any time of their choosing.  This often results in chaos or farce where other companies dig up nearby roads or even the same stretch a short time after it was resurfaced by the previous company.  This results in severe frustration and stress, increased emissions as cars wait and an incalculable bill to businesses who may lose both their workers and their customers.

Given that Local Authorities need to raise alternative revenues without pushing up Council Tax, would it not make sense for Councils to police the digging up of highways, charging for the right to do so and issuing licences that were valid for an agreed period with stinging penalty clauses for delays?  Regulation should place a duty on such companies to coordinate their activities ensuring that no particular route was disrupted more than a certain number of days per year.  A duty should also be placed on the Council to ensure that traffic flow was kept as free as possible.

Why is this idea important?

At present many companies have the right to shut off sections of road at any time of their choosing.  This often results in chaos or farce where other companies dig up nearby roads or even the same stretch a short time after it was resurfaced by the previous company.  This results in severe frustration and stress, increased emissions as cars wait and an incalculable bill to businesses who may lose both their workers and their customers.

Given that Local Authorities need to raise alternative revenues without pushing up Council Tax, would it not make sense for Councils to police the digging up of highways, charging for the right to do so and issuing licences that were valid for an agreed period with stinging penalty clauses for delays?  Regulation should place a duty on such companies to coordinate their activities ensuring that no particular route was disrupted more than a certain number of days per year.  A duty should also be placed on the Council to ensure that traffic flow was kept as free as possible.

Only 10% Council tax discount for an unoccupied property is unfair

When we moved to Ireland for a medical fellowship (part of my medical training). I have to pay 90% of my council tax. That is not fair! Not just for me but those who inherit an unoccupied property have to pay the same until the house is sold. This is a crazy punitive tax. A 50% discount (as it was before labour) I would accept.

See letter I received from Plymouth council;

I refer to your email sent to Mr x about council tax discounts.

Prior to 2003, if a property was nobody’s main residence but furnished, the law provided that all billing authorities should allow a 50% discount. From 1st April 2004, billing authorities were given the discretion to vary the amount of discount for such properties to some percentage between 10% and 50%. Plymouth City Council, by resolution of the Council, chose to reduce the discount from 50% to 10%. In my opinion, this has been done lawfully in accordance with government legislation, although if you want to challenge this resolution, I would suggest you contact your solicitor who will advise you of the procedure you would need to follow.

If the percentage was to be changed, it would need to be by a further resolution of the Council but would only apply to future years and not the current financial year.

With regard to the fact that you will not be getting anything for your money, I would advise that council tax is a tax on the occupation or ownership of domestic property and is not a payment for service. It could be that the owner of a property may have been permanently living abroad for years, not set foot in the UK for the whole of the financial year and pay no UK income tax but he would still be liable for council tax.

If you have any further queries, please contact me again.

Yours sincerely

Why is this idea important?

When we moved to Ireland for a medical fellowship (part of my medical training). I have to pay 90% of my council tax. That is not fair! Not just for me but those who inherit an unoccupied property have to pay the same until the house is sold. This is a crazy punitive tax. A 50% discount (as it was before labour) I would accept.

See letter I received from Plymouth council;

I refer to your email sent to Mr x about council tax discounts.

Prior to 2003, if a property was nobody’s main residence but furnished, the law provided that all billing authorities should allow a 50% discount. From 1st April 2004, billing authorities were given the discretion to vary the amount of discount for such properties to some percentage between 10% and 50%. Plymouth City Council, by resolution of the Council, chose to reduce the discount from 50% to 10%. In my opinion, this has been done lawfully in accordance with government legislation, although if you want to challenge this resolution, I would suggest you contact your solicitor who will advise you of the procedure you would need to follow.

If the percentage was to be changed, it would need to be by a further resolution of the Council but would only apply to future years and not the current financial year.

With regard to the fact that you will not be getting anything for your money, I would advise that council tax is a tax on the occupation or ownership of domestic property and is not a payment for service. It could be that the owner of a property may have been permanently living abroad for years, not set foot in the UK for the whole of the financial year and pay no UK income tax but he would still be liable for council tax.

If you have any further queries, please contact me again.

Yours sincerely

Protection of Privacy (Electoral Register)

I concur with the idea submitted by "nrs" in July 2010 "that the electoral register should be completely and universally removed from access by any third party"

Additionally this should be prohobited from all third parties irrespective of monetary gain in any capacity whatsoever.

I have discovered that 192.com have been selling my address to anyone who will pay despite the fact that I opted out in 2003. They are happy to work with old data. An opt out system is operated. When you don't know your in it, how can you know to opt out.

Furthermore I have now discovered that Experian and similar credit reference agencies are actively marketing the sale of individuals information on their web-sites. It appears to be a very profitable business for them.  United Utilities have passed my data to an insurance company and they have obtained my ex directory phone number from Experian.

With investigation I have discovered that local councils make as little as £300 for selling the register yet companies are potentially making thousands when they in turn sell it on to anyone who wants to buy it. This probably does not cover the cost of overheads for them being bound by law to supply it to would be purchasers. Who else is getting private information?

Despite having registered for the Telephone Preference Service and the Mailing Preference Service to protect my details, I have still had my address used fraudulently on two occasions and in both these instances, the Police did not want to get involved. I also receive numerous marketing calls and the companies calling refuse to give you their name and become rude and abusive if they don't cut you off first.

I believe it imperative that the law is repealed to help protect inividuals from identity theft and nuisance calls from marketing companies.

Why is this idea important?

I concur with the idea submitted by "nrs" in July 2010 "that the electoral register should be completely and universally removed from access by any third party"

Additionally this should be prohobited from all third parties irrespective of monetary gain in any capacity whatsoever.

I have discovered that 192.com have been selling my address to anyone who will pay despite the fact that I opted out in 2003. They are happy to work with old data. An opt out system is operated. When you don't know your in it, how can you know to opt out.

Furthermore I have now discovered that Experian and similar credit reference agencies are actively marketing the sale of individuals information on their web-sites. It appears to be a very profitable business for them.  United Utilities have passed my data to an insurance company and they have obtained my ex directory phone number from Experian.

With investigation I have discovered that local councils make as little as £300 for selling the register yet companies are potentially making thousands when they in turn sell it on to anyone who wants to buy it. This probably does not cover the cost of overheads for them being bound by law to supply it to would be purchasers. Who else is getting private information?

Despite having registered for the Telephone Preference Service and the Mailing Preference Service to protect my details, I have still had my address used fraudulently on two occasions and in both these instances, the Police did not want to get involved. I also receive numerous marketing calls and the companies calling refuse to give you their name and become rude and abusive if they don't cut you off first.

I believe it imperative that the law is repealed to help protect inividuals from identity theft and nuisance calls from marketing companies.

Stop Local Goverments using Anti-Terrorism Laws to Spy on people

 

 

We need to censure local goverment (I.E local councils) from using anti-terrorism laws in order to spy on people, as they use currently,even for petty things like prosecuting people for overflowing bins etc!

Why is this idea important?

 

 

We need to censure local goverment (I.E local councils) from using anti-terrorism laws in order to spy on people, as they use currently,even for petty things like prosecuting people for overflowing bins etc!

more freedom for the public on where construction of council led initiatives take place

 My idea is to have a more open policy on placing of construction projects in my local area,this is to say at a local level councillors should have to meet and respect opinions of local resisidents about what if any type of building work they want done in their own local area.

 For an example I will look no further than my own experience of a proposed Academy that is being built on a local playing field(Queen Elizabeth Playing Field) near to where I live in Kingston Upon Hull.Despite widespread dissaproval of this local building scheme the school will be built on the only "green space" we have available to enjoy time away from city life.Despite partitions from local people at a local level to city councillors for stopping this,despite their being many local schools in the area already,that would be better served refurbished rather than knocked down,they are still going ahead with this idea that would disrupt the community,that has relied on those playing fields for an escape from city life.

  I feel this is an idea that would save the goverment money, money that we all know needs to be saved from the school budget as you'll find many people(certainly in my local area) are opposed to such hair-brained schemes that they neither want nor need.Their are other construction projects that I could write about,but It just feels that local councillors do not listen to the will of the local people.-this one in particular is part of the previous goverments future schools building program.

Why is this idea important?

 My idea is to have a more open policy on placing of construction projects in my local area,this is to say at a local level councillors should have to meet and respect opinions of local resisidents about what if any type of building work they want done in their own local area.

 For an example I will look no further than my own experience of a proposed Academy that is being built on a local playing field(Queen Elizabeth Playing Field) near to where I live in Kingston Upon Hull.Despite widespread dissaproval of this local building scheme the school will be built on the only "green space" we have available to enjoy time away from city life.Despite partitions from local people at a local level to city councillors for stopping this,despite their being many local schools in the area already,that would be better served refurbished rather than knocked down,they are still going ahead with this idea that would disrupt the community,that has relied on those playing fields for an escape from city life.

  I feel this is an idea that would save the goverment money, money that we all know needs to be saved from the school budget as you'll find many people(certainly in my local area) are opposed to such hair-brained schemes that they neither want nor need.Their are other construction projects that I could write about,but It just feels that local councillors do not listen to the will of the local people.-this one in particular is part of the previous goverments future schools building program.

No Overnight Staying On British National Parks

Unlike France and the majority of the EU , if you are travelling around the UK on Holiday or short trips (which is now what many people have to do due to circumstances etc) In mobile camper vans etc. You currently will get fined if you stop over on a national park between 11pm- 6am. This in todays Britain is wrong as many people only wish to stop for one night on the journey and move on. Sometimes opting for caravan camping sites is not an option or disirable. We should adopt the French/German attitude where camper vans are more welcomed and accepted and are able to stop dusk till dawn where it is safe to do so.

Why is this idea important?

Unlike France and the majority of the EU , if you are travelling around the UK on Holiday or short trips (which is now what many people have to do due to circumstances etc) In mobile camper vans etc. You currently will get fined if you stop over on a national park between 11pm- 6am. This in todays Britain is wrong as many people only wish to stop for one night on the journey and move on. Sometimes opting for caravan camping sites is not an option or disirable. We should adopt the French/German attitude where camper vans are more welcomed and accepted and are able to stop dusk till dawn where it is safe to do so.

Clarification of data sharing obligations of public bodies

To provide a simple requirement to cover the obligations of public bodies to provide (or not) information to each other.

One example of this is Section 17 of Schedule 2 of the Local Government Act 1992, This protects peoples data collected for Council Tax purposes, but appears to conflict with legislation covering, amongst others, HMRC, the police and the CSA. All of these have generic legislation, but make many requests for information from Council Tax authorities, whereas there is specific legislation covering electoral registration and certain housing functions.

There must be many other examples of this where similar disclosure (or non-disclosure) requirements exist.

These uncertainties and conflicts could be removed by a simple piece of generic legislation which could either enable disclosure, or prevent it. I would be happy either way – I just want a) clarity and b) to stop endless arguments about whether someone is entitled to information or not

Why is this idea important?

To provide a simple requirement to cover the obligations of public bodies to provide (or not) information to each other.

One example of this is Section 17 of Schedule 2 of the Local Government Act 1992, This protects peoples data collected for Council Tax purposes, but appears to conflict with legislation covering, amongst others, HMRC, the police and the CSA. All of these have generic legislation, but make many requests for information from Council Tax authorities, whereas there is specific legislation covering electoral registration and certain housing functions.

There must be many other examples of this where similar disclosure (or non-disclosure) requirements exist.

These uncertainties and conflicts could be removed by a simple piece of generic legislation which could either enable disclosure, or prevent it. I would be happy either way – I just want a) clarity and b) to stop endless arguments about whether someone is entitled to information or not

Motor Caravan Aires and Wild Camping in suitable locations

Permitting Motor Caravans to park in locations other than licenced or exempted caravan sites will require the Public Health Act 1937 section 286 and The Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 being ammended.

THe 1937 Act defines what constitues a caravan and the 1960 Act requires that Caravan Sites are licenced or carry an exemption issued by certain clubs and bodies. A Caravan is defined as being a vehicle or vessel that has been built or adapted for human habitation and does not recognise a difference between a Static, Touring(trailer) or Motor Caravan.

Modern Motor Caravans are totaly different and contain superior sanitary and habitation equipment to those envisaged in the 1930s and 1950s. Motor Caravans are in fact luxury hotels on wheels these days with Bedrooms, Kitchens and bathrooms with hot water and showers and sealed toilets.

A recognition that a motor caravan parking overnight does not need the same facilities as a touring caravan is required.

A recognition of the diference between camping and parking (including using the vehicle for cooking and sleeping) is required.

Motor Caravans are much heavier than touring caravans and existing grass caravan sites can prove unsuitable for them in wet weather. A Motor Caravan simply needs a firm level surface to park on and from time to time access to basic facilities for drinking water and to dispose of wet and dry waste.

Camping as defined in regulations for Camping Cars abroard is putting anything including Tables, Chairs, steps, waste and water containers, Awnings, ramps etc outside of the vehicle. There are no restrictions on what you can do within a parked vehicle.

Modern Motor Caravans are totaly self contained and only need facilities to get fresh water and dump black and grey water every few days. They are designed to carry these loads unlike touring caravans.

Local Authorities have the power at present to allow Aire type stopovers on land owned or leased by them under section 11 of the 1960 Act. Few have used this power.

Britain is unfriendly to visiting motor caravan users as we require them to join one of our clubs to use a reasonably priced Certificated site or some of the club sites. Otherwise thay need to use highly priced commercial or club sites.

We can enjoy using our Motor Caravans abroad without such restrictions using the many municipal and private Aires available at very low or even no cost other than a couple of Euros to obtain drinking water.

It has been recognised since the 1960s abroard that Motor Caravan users bring trade into areas they visit, as they need to buy supplies and will use and visit local amenities and eating places. It is time the UK recognised this and became more welcoming to travelling visitors. Many of our authorities are still in the B&B mindset with regards to taking holidays, or are "Traveller" phobic.

Action needed:

Examine and revoke or re-write the 1937 and 1960 acts to bring them into line with todays developments.

Instruct local authorities to remove restrictions preventing the use for cooking and sleeping in parked Motor Caravans.

A recognition that a motor caravan parking overnight does not need the same facilities as a touring caravan is required.

A recognition of the difference between camping and parking (including using the vehicle for cooking and sleeping) is required.

Require local Authorities to make use of existing underused parking spaces at night such as Coach Bays or car parks to permit the overnight parking of Motor Caravans.

Remove height barriers from some parts of otherwise restricted car parks so that larger vehicles can gain access. (Restrictions could still apply to the type of use to which these spaces are permitted to be used for ie no commercial vehicles or trading, and the lenght of stay permitted).

Why is this idea important?

Permitting Motor Caravans to park in locations other than licenced or exempted caravan sites will require the Public Health Act 1937 section 286 and The Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 being ammended.

THe 1937 Act defines what constitues a caravan and the 1960 Act requires that Caravan Sites are licenced or carry an exemption issued by certain clubs and bodies. A Caravan is defined as being a vehicle or vessel that has been built or adapted for human habitation and does not recognise a difference between a Static, Touring(trailer) or Motor Caravan.

Modern Motor Caravans are totaly different and contain superior sanitary and habitation equipment to those envisaged in the 1930s and 1950s. Motor Caravans are in fact luxury hotels on wheels these days with Bedrooms, Kitchens and bathrooms with hot water and showers and sealed toilets.

A recognition that a motor caravan parking overnight does not need the same facilities as a touring caravan is required.

A recognition of the diference between camping and parking (including using the vehicle for cooking and sleeping) is required.

Motor Caravans are much heavier than touring caravans and existing grass caravan sites can prove unsuitable for them in wet weather. A Motor Caravan simply needs a firm level surface to park on and from time to time access to basic facilities for drinking water and to dispose of wet and dry waste.

Camping as defined in regulations for Camping Cars abroard is putting anything including Tables, Chairs, steps, waste and water containers, Awnings, ramps etc outside of the vehicle. There are no restrictions on what you can do within a parked vehicle.

Modern Motor Caravans are totaly self contained and only need facilities to get fresh water and dump black and grey water every few days. They are designed to carry these loads unlike touring caravans.

Local Authorities have the power at present to allow Aire type stopovers on land owned or leased by them under section 11 of the 1960 Act. Few have used this power.

Britain is unfriendly to visiting motor caravan users as we require them to join one of our clubs to use a reasonably priced Certificated site or some of the club sites. Otherwise thay need to use highly priced commercial or club sites.

We can enjoy using our Motor Caravans abroad without such restrictions using the many municipal and private Aires available at very low or even no cost other than a couple of Euros to obtain drinking water.

It has been recognised since the 1960s abroard that Motor Caravan users bring trade into areas they visit, as they need to buy supplies and will use and visit local amenities and eating places. It is time the UK recognised this and became more welcoming to travelling visitors. Many of our authorities are still in the B&B mindset with regards to taking holidays, or are "Traveller" phobic.

Action needed:

Examine and revoke or re-write the 1937 and 1960 acts to bring them into line with todays developments.

Instruct local authorities to remove restrictions preventing the use for cooking and sleeping in parked Motor Caravans.

A recognition that a motor caravan parking overnight does not need the same facilities as a touring caravan is required.

A recognition of the difference between camping and parking (including using the vehicle for cooking and sleeping) is required.

Require local Authorities to make use of existing underused parking spaces at night such as Coach Bays or car parks to permit the overnight parking of Motor Caravans.

Remove height barriers from some parts of otherwise restricted car parks so that larger vehicles can gain access. (Restrictions could still apply to the type of use to which these spaces are permitted to be used for ie no commercial vehicles or trading, and the lenght of stay permitted).

Review Scrutiny Function In Local Government

Legislation was introduced a number of years ago which basically changed how local Councils made decisions.  It changed from a Committee meeting style process to Cabinet and Scrutiny style decision-making, like the Government model.  The original idea was to hold the Cabinet to account for its decisions and to free up local councillors time by getting them out of meetings and into the community they served.

This never happened, and councillors ended up spending even more time in meetings since the introduction of the scrutiny system.  The scrutiny has not been that effective in holding the Cabinet to account and has just ended up part of the rubber stamping process, which was the very reason that the committee style decision making process was changed.  Additionally, it also created the need for new and more expensive officer jobs in local councils.

 

This system needs to be reviewed as to its effectiveness in achieving ithe purpose it was set up for and how much it has increased costs to the taxpayer and whether there is a more efficient way of doing this.  I believe that the former system was a lot cheaper way of running Council's legal decision-making processes.

Why is this idea important?

Legislation was introduced a number of years ago which basically changed how local Councils made decisions.  It changed from a Committee meeting style process to Cabinet and Scrutiny style decision-making, like the Government model.  The original idea was to hold the Cabinet to account for its decisions and to free up local councillors time by getting them out of meetings and into the community they served.

This never happened, and councillors ended up spending even more time in meetings since the introduction of the scrutiny system.  The scrutiny has not been that effective in holding the Cabinet to account and has just ended up part of the rubber stamping process, which was the very reason that the committee style decision making process was changed.  Additionally, it also created the need for new and more expensive officer jobs in local councils.

 

This system needs to be reviewed as to its effectiveness in achieving ithe purpose it was set up for and how much it has increased costs to the taxpayer and whether there is a more efficient way of doing this.  I believe that the former system was a lot cheaper way of running Council's legal decision-making processes.

Stop Councils closing public carparks to make money

Lincolnshire County Council several times a year allows our local carparks to be closed for days so paying film crews, etc may use the carpark at their leisure.  Although it is wonderful these commercial companies want to use our local area, we see a significant drop in business whilst our public carparks are closed.  Our customers and tourists have no where to park!!!!

Why is this idea important?

Lincolnshire County Council several times a year allows our local carparks to be closed for days so paying film crews, etc may use the carpark at their leisure.  Although it is wonderful these commercial companies want to use our local area, we see a significant drop in business whilst our public carparks are closed.  Our customers and tourists have no where to park!!!!

Councils spending money unnecessarily and unprofessionally; salaries too high

Councils should be run similar to non-profit organisations. They have important work to do, but they are continually monitored by a highly efficient management team. Ultimately, they have to spend money wisely and usually someone else’s money (eg funding).
Councils spending too much money
Salaries far too high (on public money)
Too many employees
Streamlining operations and becoming more effective for the public benefit and reducing significant costs
Wasting time (and therefore money) in meetings
Spending up money so their budgets are not cut

Why is this idea important?

Councils should be run similar to non-profit organisations. They have important work to do, but they are continually monitored by a highly efficient management team. Ultimately, they have to spend money wisely and usually someone else’s money (eg funding).
Councils spending too much money
Salaries far too high (on public money)
Too many employees
Streamlining operations and becoming more effective for the public benefit and reducing significant costs
Wasting time (and therefore money) in meetings
Spending up money so their budgets are not cut

Scrap Local Authority Prosecution Powers

Abolish s.222 of the Local Government Act 1972. Transfer all prosecution powers of local authorities to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Currently (in England and Wales) local authorities bring their own prosecutions based on their own investigations by their own departments – including trading standards, environmental health, housing benefit, etc.

There is a lack of independent assessment of the merits of prosecution meaning that great expense can be incurred by businesses, particularly small businesses, if the prosecutions are unwarranted. It is not suggested that all prosecutions are unwarranted – clearly there are rogue traders, benefit cheats and poor environmental practices. However, the separation of these powers would be likely to force local authorities to engage in more positive forms of regulation – such as advice and support – rather than opt for prosecution as an easy option.

In addition, each local authority employs 3 – 4 prosecution lawyers at a cost of around £80m per year. Only a fraction of this is ever recouped from offenders. Lawyers often have to sit around in court waiting for their CPS counterparts to complete a whole bundle of cases before the local authority lawyer gets on to deal with just one. This is grossly inefficient.

Why is this idea important?

Abolish s.222 of the Local Government Act 1972. Transfer all prosecution powers of local authorities to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Currently (in England and Wales) local authorities bring their own prosecutions based on their own investigations by their own departments – including trading standards, environmental health, housing benefit, etc.

There is a lack of independent assessment of the merits of prosecution meaning that great expense can be incurred by businesses, particularly small businesses, if the prosecutions are unwarranted. It is not suggested that all prosecutions are unwarranted – clearly there are rogue traders, benefit cheats and poor environmental practices. However, the separation of these powers would be likely to force local authorities to engage in more positive forms of regulation – such as advice and support – rather than opt for prosecution as an easy option.

In addition, each local authority employs 3 – 4 prosecution lawyers at a cost of around £80m per year. Only a fraction of this is ever recouped from offenders. Lawyers often have to sit around in court waiting for their CPS counterparts to complete a whole bundle of cases before the local authority lawyer gets on to deal with just one. This is grossly inefficient.

End cabinet-style local government

New Labour introduced 'cabinet-style' local governments from the late 90s onwards in England. This system denies the electorate the right to make an input into local government decision making by barring public and press attendance during cabinet meetings and allows councillors to make decisions on our behalf without our input.

The only input that is taken into account is from lobby-groups and businesses who have usually paid money to have their say. In other words, they have bribed the councillors into making the 'right' decision. In this way, many wealthy businesses have been able to have permission granted for building work etc even if their proposals break local planning rules!

Why is this idea important?

New Labour introduced 'cabinet-style' local governments from the late 90s onwards in England. This system denies the electorate the right to make an input into local government decision making by barring public and press attendance during cabinet meetings and allows councillors to make decisions on our behalf without our input.

The only input that is taken into account is from lobby-groups and businesses who have usually paid money to have their say. In other words, they have bribed the councillors into making the 'right' decision. In this way, many wealthy businesses have been able to have permission granted for building work etc even if their proposals break local planning rules!

To Many Tiers of Governance Local & National

In my local area i have representing me the following councillors Parish,  District, Borough ,County, an MP and a MEP, what a waste of taxpayers money, they all have senior officials and offices and are claiming allowances etc .Why do I need so much duplication Some of these tiers should be removed

Why is this idea important?

In my local area i have representing me the following councillors Parish,  District, Borough ,County, an MP and a MEP, what a waste of taxpayers money, they all have senior officials and offices and are claiming allowances etc .Why do I need so much duplication Some of these tiers should be removed

Legislate to install an independant regulatory authority to control Councils

I have had a serious problem with Hampshire County Council requiring me to involve my member of parliament. In the course of discussions his representative commented that he held little hope of resolving the problem because County (and City) Councils were a law unto themselves. I think this is unacceptable as they should be accountable to the people that pay for them and their services – the local tax payer.

I would like Parliament to install an independant regulatory authority, with teeth, that could deal with taxpayer's complaints against their local councils just as we have for other public services – Gas, electricity, water, telephones, etc.

I think this is long overdue.

Why is this idea important?

I have had a serious problem with Hampshire County Council requiring me to involve my member of parliament. In the course of discussions his representative commented that he held little hope of resolving the problem because County (and City) Councils were a law unto themselves. I think this is unacceptable as they should be accountable to the people that pay for them and their services – the local tax payer.

I would like Parliament to install an independant regulatory authority, with teeth, that could deal with taxpayer's complaints against their local councils just as we have for other public services – Gas, electricity, water, telephones, etc.

I think this is long overdue.

Make Council Tax de-ductable against Income Tax

Presently, Council Tax payments are not de-ductable against Income tax .

So the tax payer is paying a direct taxation,-  twice, – on a portion of thier income. 

– Council Tax invoices are issued at the start of a tax year – for the year ahead – Income tax calculations (for the same year) make no allowance for these direct tax payments already made – Even though issued from two seperate arms of the state, both taxes are direct & the person has no option but to pay.

Why is this idea important?

Presently, Council Tax payments are not de-ductable against Income tax .

So the tax payer is paying a direct taxation,-  twice, – on a portion of thier income. 

– Council Tax invoices are issued at the start of a tax year – for the year ahead – Income tax calculations (for the same year) make no allowance for these direct tax payments already made – Even though issued from two seperate arms of the state, both taxes are direct & the person has no option but to pay.

Public Information and Local Government

Abolish all cenralised answering services operated by local Government.

Each individual local government officer be given an email address and as a condition of his or her contract of employment be required to acknowledge every telephone call and email addressed to him or her.

The system operated by many local and government bodies is a refuge for unaccountable obfuscation.Anonymous officious insolence.

To restore faith in government every one involved must be accountable for their actions.

Why is this idea important?

Abolish all cenralised answering services operated by local Government.

Each individual local government officer be given an email address and as a condition of his or her contract of employment be required to acknowledge every telephone call and email addressed to him or her.

The system operated by many local and government bodies is a refuge for unaccountable obfuscation.Anonymous officious insolence.

To restore faith in government every one involved must be accountable for their actions.

Council Tax

Disallow all councils from issuing summons against residents for non payment of council tax until at least one full month of non payment is recorded. It is beyond belief that Mole Valley Council in particular, issues a summons in the same month when the account is not in arrears but they feel that because it was not recorded as paid on the 1st of the month – it was considered "late" No reminder issued.

 

This is just a simple ploy to force people to pay by direct debit instead of (in my case) Bacs payment and an unscrupulous method of increasing revenue.

 

Freezing council tax next year will see many councils employing the same underhanded tactics to increase revenues because it costs not a snippet of the surcharge they levy to issue a summons. Payment received does not cancel out the costs (even when the payment has been received before the date of the summons) they are supposed to have incurred.

 

It is the poor and the struggling who suffer from this outrageous policy. It should be outlawed and councils forced to make allowances for the fact that people are often not paid when the council tax is due but have insufficient resource to build a backlog of funds to cover such intransigence.

Why is this idea important?

Disallow all councils from issuing summons against residents for non payment of council tax until at least one full month of non payment is recorded. It is beyond belief that Mole Valley Council in particular, issues a summons in the same month when the account is not in arrears but they feel that because it was not recorded as paid on the 1st of the month – it was considered "late" No reminder issued.

 

This is just a simple ploy to force people to pay by direct debit instead of (in my case) Bacs payment and an unscrupulous method of increasing revenue.

 

Freezing council tax next year will see many councils employing the same underhanded tactics to increase revenues because it costs not a snippet of the surcharge they levy to issue a summons. Payment received does not cancel out the costs (even when the payment has been received before the date of the summons) they are supposed to have incurred.

 

It is the poor and the struggling who suffer from this outrageous policy. It should be outlawed and councils forced to make allowances for the fact that people are often not paid when the council tax is due but have insufficient resource to build a backlog of funds to cover such intransigence.