In these columns a couple of weeks ago I asked why we needed both borough and town/parish councils and after reading Tony Greaves’s letter, the reason became abundantly clear.
When town and parish councils were originally set up by the Government, we were told it was to give the public more say in what goes on in their locality.
In reality, they are just another way of taking our money.
Let me explain.
Tony says that, in future, town and parish councils are going to have to bear the cost of Christmas lights and other things.
With regards to the latter I am assuming he means fun days, fairs, festivals and other such events.
Fine, some may say, why should people living in Brierfield pay for an event in Barnoldswick or vice versa? But this is where the financial jiggery pokery begins.
Where Pendle Council has to bear in mind the electorate’s response to any increases in the community charge, the town and parish councils have not; indeed they literally have carte blanche to hike up their precepts by whatever amount they want.
Let me quote a couple of examples.
According to another correspondent, Colne Town Council has recently raised its precept by a massive 352.1%.
A few years ago Barrowford Parish Council increased its precept by £5 when it bought Holmefield House. By the way, I have noticed that former council offices in Gisburn Road are for sale.
Will Barrowfordians see their precept drop when the sale goes through?
If that happens then I really will believe that pigs can fly! Seriously though, Pendle Council now operates in the same way as a budget airline. Even when you have paid your community charge, they find ways of adding extras.