If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
Right decision to stop free service
4:12pm Wednesday 22nd August 2012 in Postbag
THE money that comes back to us from Westminster is allocated in specific areas to provide specific services.
The current Government has thankfully removed much of the ringfencing of money for specific projects but the money is still provided for us to deliver certain statutory services.
We also collect money ourselves through domestic council tax and other charges, part of which goes towards other statutory services. There is also some money which we use for services that we think are important and want to provide at a greater level than the statutory requirement, such as certain youth services.
We have a decreasing amount of money due to the financial situation facing the country, and with that we are trying to continue to provide the essential services that we have done in the past. These mostly affect the most vulnerable in society, and that is the way it should be.
Salisbury used to provide the free recycling service for cardboard to businesses. That was a service beyond what it was required to provide. When we look to save money I am afraid that a service like that is going to be dropped before we make reductions to provisions for the elderly or young people. You may not like the situation, I certainly don’t, but those are the facts we have to deal with.
I run a small business myself and feel as aggrieved as anyone else about paying rates for no services. It is a very strange form of tax (personally I dislike VAT more but that is because of the complexity of the paperwork where we both import and export about half of our total business).
I think we got parking badly wrong. I have argued for lower parking charges since being elected to the old district council. I am doing everything I can to get our charges lowered and I think I am finally making real progress here. I have convinced many councillors that we should have lower charges in the city and I will be taking further steps in September to try to make that happen.
On the issue of business cardboard recycling, though, I think that the council is making the correct decision to stop providing that service for free.
CLLR RICHARD CLEWER