Letter: Council Tax - an annual raid on our pockets

Ripon Town Hall.
Ripon Town Hall.
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I suppose we have all received our latest council tax bill for 2016/2017. How many of you are as flabbergasted as I am?

The bill reckons to show an overall increase of just four per cent. I think someone’s mathematics needs looking at.

North Yorkshire County Council have added an increase of two per cent (as well as taking a precept for adult social care – something I cannot complain about), but where is the reduction in ongoing expenses such as councillors’ allowances? Everything else from NYCC has already been cut to the bone so this must happen soon.

Then we have Harrogate Borough Council adding another two per cent increase – here are HBC cutting back on refuse collection by charging for garden refuse collection (in 2017), and where are their allowance reductions?

Moving on to North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue – recent moves have seen a reduction in staffing and vehicles coming before long, and an admission that over the last five years they have attended less incidents every year, so why have they added another two per cent?

Then we have the Police and Crime Commission – another two per cent increase here when just last week it was announced that NYP are selling their Newby Wyske headquarters and building a new centre with a gain of some £4m plus on the deal. So why have they increased their take?

And finally Ripon Successor Parish Council, a whopping 36.2 per cent increase. Yes in the big scheme of things it is not a large amount, but when this council has already increased its council tax take over 80 per cent since 2011 why does it need this massive extra amount?

After all there is little to show for what it actually does, which is why various groups have had to be set up in Ripon to do anything new.

Have you spotted anything that links most of the above? NYCC, P&CC, HBC are all Conservative controlled.

May I suggest that in May, those who can vote in local elections show these people that we are not going to stand for this raid on our pockets every year.

Jeremy Banyard

Long Meadows, Ripon