LETTER: Parish councils must deliver value

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Congratulations to both WSCC and HDC for their sterling efforts in protecting the taxpayers with another year of zero increase in the precept. Though the same cannot be said for the police authority, where they are adding another costly level of bureaucracy, namely the PCC.

But the biggest disappointment is reserved for Billingshurst Parish Council. Despite all the extra houses being built, they have failed again to deliver a zero increase in the precept. Which is puzzling. As a ‘local authority’, supposedly giving value for money to the local community should be second nature.

One wonders if the failure to give value for money has something to do with the meeting on May 7th 2014 reference 105/14 ii, where only three members approved the motion.

Perhaps it would be a good idea for voters to avail themselves of the incident and make a judgment on May 7th 2015 when voting, to ensure candidates will be pursuing a value for money policy.

There are 32 parish councils of varying sizes within the HDC district, costing at least one and a half million pounds to run each year, so is now the time to start thinking outside the box and look at ways of amalgamating either parish councils or services, to give the taxpayer better value for money. Because the year on year increases are unsustainable.

Bureaucracy shouldn’t cost an ‘arm and a leg’, but it does. If complex services like police and fire can amalgamate whole counties, to produce a special cost effective service, isn’t it time parish councils came into the 21stcentury also and amalgamated their services, to deliver value for money to the taxpayer?


High Street, Billingshurst