Household fuel bills to rise 40%; food up 5-15% depending on who you believe; mortgage interest payments rising by the month; 10% tax rate gone; petrol prices way up. The list goes on …
Meanwhile at Bristol City Council – a Labour administration, remember, whose boss Gordon Brown promised “to listen” – Chief Executive’s pay is up 20%!!! chief officers’ pay is up 10%!!! And the Leader’s pay is up 100%!!!
So how is this all being paid for? Through increased taxation on us of course. Specifically we’re soon going to have to pay for our rubbish to be collected (Blogger Passim) and to park (or not) outside of our own houses. And in the not too distant future look out for that grandaddy of local government revenue raising scams – the CONgestion charge.
But don’t worry because, we’re assured, all these things will only be introduced after meaningful CONsultation with us. Indeed, someone who used to live in London has kindly written to yesterday’s Cancer to tell us how this CONsultation will work:
Having received the recent council literature about the proposal to introduce residents’ parking in Bristol, I would like to ask that when people fill out their consultation forms to consider this: in London, years ago, we had a similar survey and most people I spoke to were against it, but were concerned about the knock-on effect of streets nearby which did adopt the scheme.
As a result, people said no to the scheme, but yes to the scheme if neighbouring streets did it. That means it only took one street to vote in favour for the whole of London to eventually adopt the scheme. My street was in an area away from any local amenities and parking was tight but manageable, a bit like Bristol today. Residents’ parking was brought in and the result was that friends visiting from outside the area were less likely to stop by, delivery vans were frustrated by the need to pay, which often led to a game of “cat and mouse” with the wardens, and yes, there were parking spaces, but it became complete misery for everyone involved.
In addition although we all paid to park in our zone, the zones were so small that you had to pay again if you wanted to drive to the shops, less than seven streets away.
As with all things, this becomes a tax on the poor, as every house can only receive one permit at a cost of £40, so if you are renting a property and sharing with two or more, the second permit would cost £80 and the third a whopping £500. Is this fair?
It is interesting to see how parking problems arise.
In the last few years there have been a large number of properties that have been granted planning to convert into flats, which is of course fine, as there is a housing shortage, but why should the rest of us pay for a problem created by developers and the planning office?
Conversely, can I suggest that as petrol prices rise and with the advent of the new cycle scheme, that before we rush headlong into enormous costs for all, we wait and see whether we really need to go down this route.
The only real winner is the council, which earns a fortune from charges, parking meters and fines, and definitely not you and me.
Zoe Mack, Southville, Bristol.