Taxation not for '˜whims'

Berwick's parish council (or as it likes to be known, Berwick Town Council) receives its money via Northumberland County Council from council tax, which is a levy imposed upon dwellings that, by law, has to be paid.

Friday, 31st August 2018, 09:00 am

It is supposed to be calculated and agreed in advance by a council as being its estimated budget requirement for the following year, which is intended to cover necessary payments to be made by the council for essential determined items, with an allowance made for emergencies.

The council tax levied by Berwick’s council does not exist to satisfy the whims of its councillors, however worthy those whims might seem to those councillors.

So is £1,500 for a new bus shelter either a necessary essential payment or an emergency? It is neither.

Is the provision of some extra park benches a necessary essential payment or an emergency? It is neither.

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And insofar as making emotional payments of £3,475 and £980 to charities are concerned, I, for one, like many I suspect, like to decide for myself which charities I make payments to and for how much. I don’t wish a bunch of councillors to decide for me.

Talking of charities, if the councillors are so keen on seeking to impress people by having a new bus shelter and some new park benches, then perhaps they should gather themselves together and start up a charity, into which they and their council taxpayers can, if they and their council taxpayers so wish, voluntarily subscribe.

E Sutherland-Loveday