Lakenheath Annual Village Meeting

Last Monday saw the Annual Village Parish Council meeting in Lakenheath and as I looked around the small crowd who attended I noticed that many of the people I have grown up with are getting older! Or is that just me! We discussed many things from housing development to street lights.

It was slightly surreal in that the Chairman of the Parish Council could not be at its annual meeting. His absence was a shame as I had a number of questions I felt, as a Village resident, that needed answering.

In my speech I talked about both Suffolk County Council matters and Forest Heath District Council matters not least my determination to drive forward the shared services project that Forest Heath District Council and St. Edmundsbury Borough Council have undertaken that has allowed FHDC to save in excess of £1million in management costs about the same as the necessary reduction in central government funding thus allowing the council to continue to delivery services and not put up the Council tax which would have had to rise by 46% to cover off the reduction in grant.

In the case of Suffolk County Council we have demanded that the Council ‘live within its means’ and made it understand we were elected to deliver services and protect the hard earned money of the people who elect us and not to constantly put up the Council tax. On Forest Heath District Council since being elected I have played my part in pushing for it to revolutionise the way it works and this has seen the introduction of a cabinet system, a new Leader, the shared back office and leadership team all of which has delivered savings, protected services and frozen the District Council tax.

It is a fact that Lib Dems, Labour and Conservative Councillors unanimously voted in favour of the joint services restructuring, with only one councillor voted against it and that councillor was none other than David Gathercole, the absent Councillor, so the question has to be just how much he wants to see people pay in Council Tax increases?

At Suffolk County Council we have delivered 3 years of 0% Council Tax increases and one of our manifesto pledges is to freeze the Council tax for the next 4 years so over a 7 year period if you take inflation at 3% per annum that a real 20% cut in County Council tax and alongside Conservative controlled FHDC and the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore this year excluding Parish Councils, that’s 0% across the board.

There are those who dismiss the importance of this and that councils must ever increase taxes I say what an utter load of rubbish. Councils must and should play their part in these difficult times, finding new ways to save money and deliver services

In Row Health’s villages there are many people struggling to make the family budget cope with no pay rises, or on a fixed income and the ever rising bills.

In Row Heath’s villages there is almost no gas supplies so heating is either electric or oil, and both are rising at an alarming rate, there are residents who are making food or fuel choices.

Councils are not businesses but with a Conservative business-like approach they can freeze Council tax, find new ways of working to reduce costs and deliver services and it is right and proper that they are held to account by elected Councillors to do just that.

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal, anything I write is promoted by Lance Stanbury on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Park Farm Cottage, Fordham St. Genevieve, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 6TS

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