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Reserves could fund tax rise
11:50am Thursday 7th March 2013 in Letters
THERE are no doubt a number of households in Test Valley that will shrug off or laud TVBC for the statement last week regarding the increase in council tax.
There must be a great many more households that would appreciate the expertise that TVBC can bring to helping to balance their personal budgets.
As a father and daughter, who live at either end of Test Valley, we feel the need to speak out.
We have recently read that Hampshire County Council has £300 million in the bank and that TVBC has specific reserves of £10.7 million and investments of £64 million.
It is impossible to understand the logic of Mr Giddings’ refusal to consider allocating a sum the equivalent of approximately .016 per cent of the specific reserve, or .0027 per cent of the combined figure in order to fund an increase in the council tax.
Taken in the context of the proposed spend on Romsey announced this week and the overspend on the Andover Bus Station, that refusal looks positively thoughtless.
Our view is that the money extracted from developers, (developer contributions), if it has its roots in housing development, should be used for current and future resident’s welfare.
The proposed changes to Romsey and Andover are in our view, general house-keeping and maintenance and should come from the specific reserves.
There appears to be no joined up thinking for doing, or not doing things in respect of Romsey and Andover.
We have to question the motives of the elected councillors.
Are they acting on behalf of their party or their electorate, when some speak publicly against the increase, then abstain from even voting?
What is also fascinating is that the percentage required to trigger a local referendum is two per cent. However, because TVBC made savings they were allowed to go to 4.2 per cent. The actual increase is calculated at 4.1 per cent.
It makes you think about the quality of our representatives.
Perhaps Mr Giddings will spare us a few more words of comfort by explaining precisely what the specific reserves will be used for, and when. As for our councillors, let’s not wait until the next TVBC election, if your councillor voted for the increase, or worse still abstained, hold them to account today.
Nadine O’Connor (daughter) The Avenue, AndoverIan Taylor (father) Ashdown Way, Romsey