Have you and your Town or Parish Council just started to think about its annual budget and the precept?

No budget no precept...

  • The budget can be delegated to a committee, not so setting the precept which can only be done by the full council
  • September or October is starting to be a little late and risks being rushed with little thought or effort by the council and councillors
  • January is just too late for any meaningful debate or community involvement

 

Leaving the debate about the budget so late says reams about a Town or Parish Councils attitude towards its residents, electors and tax payers.

 

Such councils have overlooked 1 major factor...

  • It's not their council but that of the community which pays for the council
  • Equally the council believes that the community is either perfect or does not want to spend anything
  • So why have a council?

The right to levy a precept i.e. tax the community comes with obligations not the least of which is to consult and work with the community.

  • Rights must be continually earned and never assumed
  • Councils which forget this have in our opinion no right to tax the community or exist
  • Such councils are in our opinion a "Blot on the landscape"

In such circumstances perhaps all the effort should be devoted to dissolving the council?

 

All too often councillor “vanity projects” creep into the process. This is often the route to disaster.

  • Without detailed consultation with residents how can a council be sure that it is delivering what the community needs or wants?
  • An “E lad I'm a councillor and I know best” attitude is wholly unacceptable and has been for some time.

 

One answer is to use participatory budgeting.

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