Letters - February 27, 2019

Council tax is set to rise by nearly four per cent.
Council tax is set to rise by nearly four per cent.
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Have your say

Why is council tax so unfair and expensive?

I’m confused about our next council tax bill. Why does our council think it’s fair to ask for so much?

It’s my biggest monthly expense - more than my gas, electric and water bills combined.

Why do they think it appropriate? They’re supposed to be our representatives.

Did they ask?

Okay, the Government wants to pretend taxes haven’t gone up. But they’re transferring the cost of elderly care from the NHS and general taxation to the council tax.

So taxes are rising.

I know it’s austerity, but isn’t that us paying for wrongs we didn’t commit?

It’s you and I paying it, not those who were to blame for the financial crisis.

Councils have already had a huge increase in revenue.

All over Lancashire, there are new houses, despite local opposition. They all pay council tax. And where’s the increase going? It’s not going to council workers. It’s not going to care workers - they’re on minimum wage. It may be going to private care companies, but that’s not the point.

And what do we get for this extra tax? Roads full of ruts and potholes, cuts to every budget from children’s services to libraries, our countryside to heritage.

No wonder local government has such a poor reputation and so few of us are interested.

And what do our elected representatives do?

There are 55 on Wyre Council and only 84 on Lancashire County Council.

They all claim, what seems to me, to be generous expenses. They haven’t been cut.

Have any of them protested that tax rises are far steeper than any other price rises we encounter?

Have they argued for a better system based on real property values across the country? Why do they sit and nod the tax rises through? Why do poor areas have to pay proportionally more than wealthy areas? What’s our MP doing about it?

I’m told that there’s a town house in Carlton Gardens, London, valued at £95m.

Its council tax is £1,421 per year. That’s less the £1,584.56p that I pay for my band C house in Garstang, worth about £170,000. Is this fair? Does it bear any relationship to property values or the ability to pay?

Does anyone on the council represent us or even care? Do they exist only to tax us, charge us, fine us and, when it comes to planning, ignore us completely? They’ll make us pay until we’re paupers.

And then they’ll come back for more.

Confused

Address supplied

LANGUAGE

English please 
not American

I heartily agree with concerns about the Americanisms creeping into the English language. How a four-year-old in an infants’ class can be described as a student and not a pupil baffles me.

Amongst my current pet hates is the use of the expression “between... to...” instead of “between... and...”

It is utterly illogical. Can you imagine “between the devil to the deep blue sea”? No, I thought not. And since when has a pavement or a lawn been a “floor”? If someone falls to the floor, one immediately assumes that s/he fell indoors.

I could quote so very many of these infelicities, but to do so in one letter would send my blood pressure shooting up.

Elisabeth Baker

Address supplied

APPEAL

Did anyone know grandmother?

My cousin, Susan, and my self are researching our family history.

We have discovered that Susan’s paternal grandmother died at 19, King Edward Avenue, Blackpool, on February 18, 1964, aged 73. She had lived and worked as a housekeeper at 18 King George Avenue, for many years.

As Susan never knew her grandmother we would be thrilled to hear from anyone who knew her and could tell us about her.

I can be contacted at annsimcock@hotmail.co.uk. Thanking you in anticipation.

Ann Simcock

Address supplied

FOOD

We should follow example of French

Our friends in France have introduced a new law designed to protect the quality of food and to prevent damage to the agricultural sector by price wars between retailers.

A number of initial measures were brought into force from February 1 in connection with the developing Loi Alimentation. It is also intended to be a means of improving animal welfare.

Some British politicians appear to think that we should follow the American model where the countryside becomes a vast open space with the maximum mechanisation of all agricultural processes, and the unlimited use of chemicals and antibiotics to control the problems which result from high density factory farming.

As is usual with our politicians, there is no intention to submit developments in food technology to the democratic process so that we can all express an opinion.

Paul Brown

Address supplied

HEALTH

Too many eateries around these days

No wonder there are so many obese people.

Just look at the number of takeaways, restaurants and cafes - Chinese, Thai, Italian etc - and there are also fish and chip shops. And that’s only in my local area.

Who are they all catering for?

Mrs V Ormerod

Address supplied