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Local Talkback
Talkback is for the residents and businesses in Liphook to voice their views and opinions about local issues and events.

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Parish Council Tax Rise
- Concerned Taxpayer (17th Mar 2017  15:48:31)

Having just received the council tax demand for 2017-8 I note that the Parish council has increased the total precept over the last two year by a stunning 26.4%, the precept in 2015/6 was £274,016 whilst for this 2017/8 is a total of £346,496. These figures are taken from the Council tax bills of the year.
By any stretch of the imagination this is a massive increase when inflation is running at a very low rate.
There is no explanation sent out with the council tax demand. I think that we need some better information and explanation than it is the cost of the neighbourhood plan, pension auto enrolment and general inflation, as stated in the Finance and Policy Committee minutes of the meeting held on the 15th March.
I am aware of the history of unwarranted expenditure by the council in the past, the Clerk Affair, the Willows nursery and now the Neighbourhood plan.
The parish council has by over 4 times a greater increase than any other item on the Council bill, EHDC has even managed to reduce their precept.
What is going on? I think that the council tax payers in Liphook are owed an explanation.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Ray (17th Mar 2017  16:57:07)

The Parish Annual Meeting is on 27th March at the Millennium hall.
This is our chance to question Councillors on this matter.
The quote is, "it's only £10 a month on a band D property" that is from the Chair of the F&P Committee!
I bet you don't get an answer!!?
,

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- nick (17th Mar 2017  19:05:11)

am in f band total increase from last year is £108
I agree about the tax EDH have reduced their requirement by 2.6% this year and 2.0% last year I see new Charge Hampshire Adult Social Care £76
I think if you read the pc minutes it will tell you that the money is needed for upkeep and Parish plan, not very clear
Cant understand about money required for the millennium hall tho thought this was budgeted yearly seems it needs a lot of money to repair it

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Andrew (17th Mar 2017  19:34:50)

Surely the extra income from all the new homes in the village should offset the need to increase the Council Tax. I cannot see any sign of expenditure towards extra facilities in Liphook to help with the increase in the local population so what happens to that extra revenue?

How many new homes have been built around the Village Green and in Silent Garden recently? They all have to pay Council Tax.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Irene (18th Mar 2017  20:19:37)

Having just received my council tax i find an increase of 13.6% for bramshott and liphook parish council can i ask what this increase is going to be used for is it going to be used to improve public transport or better shops or to improve roads all of which we need i doubt it look forward to knowing what it will be used for.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Ray (18th Mar 2017  21:52:42)

As stated at the recent meeting of the Parish Council, this increase is to fund the Neighbourhood fund an extra £35,000. Bearing in mind that when/if the NP comes into effect the Council will increase its CIL from every new home built in the Parish from £1,000 to £2,000. We will not get a rebate! Don't forget the Annual meeting, to ask the questions!

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Lucy (19th Mar 2017  11:03:08)

Sadly Ray the CIL is not given for every new home built in the village, no CIL is paid on social housing, or housing which is not 100 percent free market housing, eg if there is a split deal with the developer to encourage first time buyer ownership. For example if a developer offers a share in the freehold, 80 /20. There is also no CIL at all paid if a developer offers self build plots to individuals, so no advantage to the Parish or local authority would come from up to at least 40 percent of all new homes built.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- liz (20th Mar 2017  11:21:07)

So 40% of housing built in the Parish is social housing, shared freehold or self build? Is that correct?

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Lucy (20th Mar 2017  17:38:20)

If it is the case of looking at a very large estate being built, that 40 per cent would probably be the maximum ratio of non - market housing. overall in the district. that would not be the percentage, due to smaller housing sites being built which do not have a requirement for non market housing. I was just making people aware that the CIL return will not come from every new house or flat built.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- liz (21st Mar 2017  09:39:32)

So it will come from well over 60% of them, probably more. That's quite a fair sum income bearing in mind the number of houses being built in the Parish.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Concerned Ratepayer (21st Mar 2017  13:44:05)

If the payback is going to be so good, why did they not use the reserves instead charging us this massive increase in tax

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- JJ (21st Mar 2017  17:19:20)

Every year the district council charge households the council tax. A percentage of that comes back to the parish council. I think this year's rise is to help pay for the Neighbourhood Plan. Council tax is different to CIL.

CIL is charged on each new house built (only market ones not affordable ones) as a one off payment. That money goes to District too. Only a small percentage of CIL is available to the parish council. It has to be claimed back for community projects.


Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Dawn Hoskins (21st Mar 2017  17:48:43)

Do you know, the Parish Council have monthly meetings which explain every decision and debate they have had.

That is only 12 meetings a year you'd have to attend in order to know all of the answers you ever wanted to know about the ins and outs of parish life.

Out of the 8,000 or so possible attendees - about 4 go to each meeting.

Instead of going to an annual meeting with no knowledge about what has happened over the year - how about taking an interest throughout the 12 months prior - and having an input into the actual decision making?

Simple.



Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- nicola (21st Mar 2017  20:29:51)

No No Dawn, i don't buy that argument regarding parish council meetings at all. In a time of financial austerity and careful budgeting for most parish households. Why are the Parish council looking for such a huge increase. To fund a neighborhood plan with unknown cost implications and very dubious benefits, To improve the millennium Hall entrance, surely by now this facility should be self funding, after all it was built F.O.C courtesy of Sainsburys. The disbelief is about how 'local' Councillors can be so out of touch with their local community. We are in a period of austerity for what ever reason and therefore for elected Councillors to take such a glib view of increases beggars belief. EHDC can do wonders with their budget, The police and County Council can control their expenses so why can't parish Councillors and now for a second time 26% increase come on....
Especially when the Parish council reserves are well in excess of the guidelines for holding a minimum of 25 to 50% of the annual parish Precept.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Concerned Ratepayer (21st Mar 2017  22:07:29)

Dawn, I do not see why it is at all necessary to go to the monthly meetings. Surely the onus is on the Parish Council to communicate with the ratepayers the reasons for this increase.
We have received absolutely nothing from the parish Council as to why a 13% increase when they actually increased their reserves with the 10% increase they had imposed last year.
It would be nice to see a breakdown budget for where the precept goes, after all it is not rapidly approaching the EHDC portion.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Dawn Hoskins (22nd Mar 2017  00:21:23)

Nicola and concerned,
You misunderstand my comment. I am saying that if you went to the meetings you would have a thorough understanding of what needs to be paid for and what the precept is and what works are in the pipeline etc.

You would be able to answer all of the questions posted here as you would already have the knowledge and seen the debate on the issues over the course of the year.

The financial information is published every month so everyone can see what is being spent on which items etc - this is voted on at the finance and policy meetings.

I am not trying to antagonise - I am trying to explain how you become better informed.

The people of this parish are entirely detached from the procedure and detached from the parish council as a whole - it is not surprising that every decision made is a surprise - as no one attends. If people attended - they would have all the up-to-date information on every aspect of the running of the parish council and would therefore not be surprised by any announcements. also, you are physically present and can ask questions and raise queries and get the whole council to understand where you are coming from.

they do publish minutes every month, and a meeting agenda every month - but it is never as comprehensive as hearing the meeting verbatim.

It is no good being upset only once a year - you need to be engaged for the whole 12 months during the year - you may find that you are upset every month - or alternatively you may find that you are pleased each month with the decisions that have been made and the reasons behind them. However, latching the door after the horse has bolted does no good. The budget would have been debated at the finance and policy meeting months ago, so complaining about it after the event is just going to make noise - but not change the outcome.

You are right that it is the responsibility of the parish council to communicate - and they do publish the agendas and minutes on the website and every notice board in the village. However, some responsibility has to be borne by individuals living in the parish as well.

If you want to actively participate and debate the issues - you have to be present BEFORE the decision is voted on.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- liz (22nd Mar 2017  09:34:49)

Very good comments by 'Concerned ratepayer'. No clear reasons for the substantial increase. Many are not able to attend the meetings and some clarity would be very helpful.

As Dawn says the decisions were made some time ago so we have to trawl back through the Minutes. The PC website is not the most helpful. Tried some searches in the appropriate box on the PC homepage and got Google ads! Perhaps a link to the appropriate Minutes on this website?

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Ray (22nd Mar 2017  10:00:32)

Thanks Dawn for that. However, a question was asked at the F&P meeting regarding the rise, only to be told it is for the Neighbourhood Plan, when questioned as to why money from reserves should [not] be used as this is where the CIL money will go, told the Council has to keep the reserves.

On asking the same question at the PC meeting following, told it would be dealt with under the agenda item.

Got to the item, details given and a statement from the Councillor giving it, he will not have any questions from the Public!

So what do we do now?

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Sue (22nd Mar 2017  13:29:35)

I thought the Neighbourhood Plan had been abandoned due to a "flawed process" see Thread Neighbourhood Development Plan.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Kat (22nd Mar 2017  16:07:22)

Nicola, I share your views completely about financial austerity. We have all been tightening our belts over a number of years and for some of us every penny counts. Our Councillors, who we elected, must be on a different wavelength.

There are Financial Statements on their website but they are not easy to find. If anybody wants to see them you go to “Council” on the front page, under it in the drop down menu is “Publication Scheme”. Click on that, and it brings you to a page with a list. Go to “Class 2” and you will find lots of finance information there. I hope that helps people.

Here are some interesting figures I have found from the Statements and other info:

Precept 2010 - £195,975, Precept 2017 - £334,765 an increase of 70%, yes 70%!

Budget 2010 - £323,545, Budget 2017 - £435,446 an increase of 34%!

On 31st March 2016, the General Reserve showed as £102,508 having had £36,255 put into it at the end of the year! They also put £38,500 into Earmarked Reserves which shows as £163,616! Surely they could have used some of the £74,755 rather than increasing council tax so much again! In my mind, a triple whammy. They are over budgeting, under spending, and hitting the taxpayer with tax increases all at the same time.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Nicola (22nd Mar 2017  20:48:46)

Exactly Kat,
I in the course of my work encounter many elderly people some of whom talked positively earlier of a £4.00 a week increase in their income this year, This week i visited two who were totally distraught because the council tax rise and electricity price increases had already absorbed that.
For what i ask ? £45000 for a new entrance to the millennium hall and a neighborhood plan that seems to be a money pit, paying consultants who can't seem to provide an accurate cost of their service. If the parish council are so confident that it is a sure fire plan then use the mounting reserves to fund it. Surely their confidence will mean that any monies raised from its augmentation can be returned to the cash reserves in preparation for the emergency crisis that they seem convinced will befall us.
I here what Dawn says about 'bolting the stable door etc.' to be honest until the council tax bill arrived i couldn't believe that a local organisation could be so crass as to opt for these items when everyone is feeling the pinch in these difficult times. For a parish council to even consider such large increases for such meaningless projects when the Police, the Health service, social care and so on fight hard to control their budgets in extremely challenging times and especially when EHDC clearly show what can be achieved is frankly appalling.
Then to hide behind 'well you could have come along and said something' seems incredible. As Ray said even when people do raise concerns the parish council seem to turn a blind eye.
This aside, what we want to see is common sense, not everyone has money to burn and if we are having to rein in our expenses then so should the Parish council, Remember we give our council tax funds to budget for local projects and services, not to rest in a bank somewhere. Electricity and Gas suppliers were recently criticized for taking direct debit monies in excess of the customers fuel usage and thereby building huge credits, surely this is what Liphook and District Parish council are doing. It's our money they are holding.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- KT (22nd Mar 2017  23:02:30)

How about some perspective here folks! It's actually an increase of £10 per YEAR on a band D household...that's about 20p per week. Not a lot to pay for a neighbourhood plan that could bring in thousands!

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- M (23rd Mar 2017  07:19:09)

Well I live in a two bed and mine is an extra five pounds a month do I can't see how yours is ten pounds a year? Think u got that wrong

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- JJ (23rd Mar 2017  10:27:04)

Just got the calculator out!

Don't forget there are 3 councils to pay for on this bill plus police and crime commissioner as well as Fire and rescue.

Mine is about £50 more for the year but most of that is going to Hampshire County Council and the police commissioner. The parish council portion is as they said - about £10 extra for the year but they only get about 5% of your total tax bill.

To put it in easy terms Hampshire County Council gets over £1,000 for the year, Police and Crime Commissioner gets over £150 and the parish council gets about £80.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- wez (23rd Mar 2017  10:55:26)

Mine is an extra £10 a month - plus all the other increases ie Water, elect, gas too!!

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- KT (23rd Mar 2017  18:34:33)

Yes but the £10 a month is not the council increase if you work it out. If you're a band D it's about £10 a year

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Janet (23rd Mar 2017  23:08:42)

The Parish Council charge has increased by £1.20 per month on my bill (band E), up by 13.6% from £92.35 per year in 2016/17 to £104.39 for the coming year.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Paul (26th Mar 2017  10:49:44)

I find it disgraceful that the increase to B&CPC is significantly greater than that going to Social Care.

Given that our council tax contributions for Social Care do go on to support some of the most vulnerable in our society, what exactly do I get from my £144 contribution to B&CPC? And why does a quango as I see it deserve more of my money than people with genuine social care needs?

I would rather see all my B&CPC monies go to any of the other bodies - Policing, Fire & Rescue, Social Care - at least there I can see some tangiable benefits for both me as a tax payer and our community.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Dee (26th Mar 2017  18:32:41)

I tried to give everyone a heads up on this back in January and suggested that we should all attend the meeting held on Jan 30th..
I attended that meeting and listened to the Chairman of the F&P committee give his garbled version to justify this increase. He then refused to take/answer any questions.
People did not turn up so it all went through as usual. I was lambasted for my comments but now (too late) people are moaning

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Dawn Hoskins (27th Mar 2017  10:23:04)

I think that the outrage is caused by not fully understanding how the bill works - how it is divided up.

In this country, central government has given councils less and less for consecutive years. Not because they are choosing to be bastards but because if they pay-out more than they bring-in the country will be worse than bankrupt.

This means that at every level of government, parish, district and county - we have to take up the slack. I know it is often distasteful, but tax is a way of life - it is how this country runs.

Paying the Parish council £80 a year pays for many of the services you enjoy, the parks you like to walk in, the centre you go to the cinema to, visit the Citizens Advice Bureau in and take your kids rollerskating/soft playing in.

We are lucky to have a community centre, but buildings need to be maintained. Having a building can be a blessing, but also a curse when the rain pours in the roof. Having extensive parklands with rivers and bridges - beautiful until the steps need repair or a bridge collapses. These things don't come with 'advance notice' and it would be very foolish budgeting to have only enough money to pay for planned expenditure.

A lot of people have been speaking in a derogatory way about the Parish council holding emergency reserves - I applaud them for it. Without it - how will they address any sudden holes in the ground.

Spending and budgeting is such a double edged sword. If it is a group you attend or a charity you support - you want the Parish council to pay for it. If it is not one you belong to you think it is a waste of money if they do.

12 evenings in a whole year is not a great deal of time to find out, from the horse's mouth, what is going on. If you listen to scaremongers and sh**stirrers you are never going to get the real life version of what happens at Parish council meeting. Also. attending just one meeting will not assist - you need to go to a few to get the gist of how they run.

Only if you know the rules of the game can you play. By all means, challenge them - speak up - but speaking in the wrong place at a meeting won't have any effect. Getting a topic put on the agenda for discussion will. You have to know the rules.


Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- liz (27th Mar 2017  12:30:05)

That's all well and good Dawn, but a 13% plus increase needs to be fully justified. The information should be clear and easily available, we can't all get to the meetings.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Sue (27th Mar 2017  13:43:17)

I agree with Liz. In addition Dee did attend the meeting and this is what she said - quote from her post

"I attended that meeting and listened to the Chairman of the F&P committee give his garbled version to justify this increase. He then refused to take/answer any questions.
People did not turn up so it all went through as usual. I was lambasted for my comments but now (too late) people are moaning"

So you can see why people do not attend meetings. Not much point if that is what happens!


Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Annoyed (27th Mar 2017  13:48:36)

Well said Dawn, but do you attend any meetings? If yes then you are invisible.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- nicola (27th Mar 2017  16:31:05)

So huge reserves are for 'holes in the ground.' What sort of emergency are we covering for. The parish emergency plan talks of a little flooding to a couple of houses - all of which are probably insured. Plus providing for news reporters and hospitality catering for emergency crews. I have lived in Liphook for nearly 50 years and don't have any recollection of a disaster that justifies the reserve levels held.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Concerned Ratepayer (27th Mar 2017  17:40:33)

Dawn,
Some of us actually do understand taxation, including the Council Tax.
There are several issues with this years Parish Council precept.
1) We are owed an explanation of why the PC need to increase the rates by 13.6% on top of an increase of 10.1% last year. To suggest that we need to attend council meetings is frankly a non-starter.
2) The Parish precept is now 65% of the EHDC precept. In terms of what we get for the money it is no contest!
3) Last year the Parish council increased their reserves by 39% (£75.000) to 76% of this year's precept. Why do they need such a high reserve? Cllr Croucher himself said in the Council meeting of 27th February that they need between 20% and 50% so why 76% without any explanation. This does not include any increases included in the budget for this year. Are they planning a further increase in these reserves? How much of these reserves are earmarked specific projects, Croucher omitted to spell out any detail in the Council meeting!
4) If, as was said in the Council meeting, the NDP is going to pay for the extra budget over time, why was it not taken from the reserves, it seems to be an ideal candidate.
5) The Parish council has decided to give out grants totalling £21000, an increase of 5%. Why, when they do not have the money without increasing the precept.Some of the grants appear to be going to commercial activities, why? If they were more careful with OUR money it might be more appreciated.




Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- nicola (27th Mar 2017  18:34:35)

Well done 'concerned ratepayer'
my thoughts exactly... it seems that the parish council have embarked on a license to print money, hiding behind bureaucracy and procedure to push their mandate through.
We are in the digital age now. Concerned residents are entitled to use current and modern forums (especially when highly regarded like Liphook forum) to make parish Councillors aware of public misgiving and Parish Councillors are responsible to listen to such misgivings. Not hide behind archaic rules not updated to meet the modern world..

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Nicola Grainger (27th Mar 2017  20:41:10)

Wow Dawn
so it seems that taxation is the root of the problem, Governments calls for cost cuttings should simply be palmed off to local council tax increases. No way... Austerity is not reserved to one form of government, it is a call for all public expenditure to come into line with what the community as a whole can pay. Therefore if central government needs to rein in its expenditure then local government needs to do the same.
As for all the wonderful services on offer, great.... but how many of the community have objected to the parks, citizens advice bureau and the soft roller skating park. Of the buildings issue with 'Leaky roofs this happened overnight then? With costs of £17000 that couldn't have been budgeted for over recent years (perhaps using some of the emergency funds collected), especially as you seem keen to point out how well used the venue is.
No way can any organisation justify a 13% increase for mediocre projects when main stream core services can exist on 4 - 5% increases. I'll support any service that helps the less fortunate members of our community, Liphook Parish Council however , couldn't even support our own small local dedicated 'Age concern group' who in a fund raising effort asked for a donation for their very informative local directory but were turned down. A venture that not only supported their charity but also offered local business a low cost effective local advertising base and because of their own tenacity still went ahead 'at no cost to the rate payer.'

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Paul E (28th Mar 2017  10:18:30)

When my wife and I came to Liphook in 1964 to our newly built property in Hazelbank Close, the then council tax was about £38 for a year - and residents complained about that!

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Paul Robinson (28th Mar 2017  11:33:43)

In 1964 we had a policeman living in the village, in a house which was also the police office and he was seen in the village almost every day of the week. Did you know that Liphook's nearest police station is currently Alton but will soon be Winchester.

In 1964 we had a weekly collection of refuse instead of once a fortnight.

In 1964 new houses were being built without a blue sky thinking, pen-sucking and horrendously expensive Neighbourhood Development Plan determined on housing expansion at all costs but without consideration of infrastructure which is hopelessly inadequate for the housing we already have !

Paul Robinson

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Dawn Hoskins (28th Mar 2017  11:38:34)

Everyone seems to be missing my point.
I enjoy healthy debate but for it to be meaningful you have to listen to what the other person is saying.

IMO the reason you don't feel the rise is justified is because you don't know what the Parish Council are doing with it. You are not engaged with what they are doing.

I hear the point that some people can't make evening meetings - but how is it that 8,000 voters could not make evening meetings?

If you went regularly you would start to get to know the councillors and then rather than dismissing them as idiots, incompetent, etc etc you would see exactly what thoughts and processes go into the decisions that they make.

(and....yes...a giant hole did open up in the ground behind the millennium hall) and to say the PC have spent too much money but then complain that not every single charity that asked got the handout that they wanted rather makes my point for me. If the club/charity you support gets a donation (out of tax payers money) you applaud, but for everyone that asked - another has to be turned down - it is a balance with many hard decisions to be made.

If the tax was £30 and you weren't engaged and didn't know what it was being spent on - you would still complain.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- liz (28th Mar 2017  12:13:03)

Dawn

We don't hear what the PC are saying because they don't really appear to tell us. How difficult would it be for someone to put on this website a breakdown of the 13% plus increase or at least a link to where that information can be found. If I have missed it previously then I apologise.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Sue (28th Mar 2017  13:40:14)

Dawn I think it is you that are missing the point. I don't know if you read the post from Dee on 26 March.

At the risk of repeating myself I again quote what she said after she had attended the meeting.

"I tried to give everyone a heads up on this back in January and suggested that we should all attend the meeting held on Jan 30th.
I attended that meeting and listened to the Chairman of the F&P committee give his garbled version to justify this increase. He then refused to take/answer any questions."

It explains exactly why people who otherwise might attend PC meetings, do not. What is the point of going to meetings and asking questions if the Chairman refuses to answer said questions?

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Dawn Hoskins (28th Mar 2017  17:58:02)

Sue. This was ONE meeting in a whole year.

To be engaged with what has happened over the year, and to know what is in the pipeline for the next year, you need to be engaged throughout the year. That is my point.

If you want to discuss a particular subject, then you ask for it to be put on the agenda. Those are the rules. This is my point.

It is [not] that paying tax is wonderful and affordable for all. But that this Parish, District and County council, as every other one in the country now gets less from central government. The shortfall is made up from us. That's democracy folks!

We can either learn the rules of the game in order to make our point of view heard, or we can ignore the rules of the game, turn up at a meeting after everything has already been discussed at Finance and Policy committee and get upset because our question wasn't addrressed adequately.

The rules of the game specify when questions and debates can be entertained. If you don't know the rules you don't get the discussion.

There are 12 meetings in a year for the full committee, and others for the finance committee. If you want the ins and outs of all the financial decisions - go the finance meetings.

If you ask a question at the wrong meeting or at the wrong time within a meeting - you are are going to leave the meeting being dissatisfied. Not because the councillor behaved badly, but because you didn't know the rules of the game.

I am fully aware that many people work evenings etc but there are a lot of people here moaning that do not and could quite happily turn up once a month and find out exactly who said what to whom about what. Rather than repeat salacious nonsense they heard down the pub from someone's aunties next-door neighbours friends dog.

There are thousands of voting parishioners. Get engaged - turn up. Turn up more than once otherwise, you won't know what is going on or who anyone is.

You will find that these volunteers are all positive local-minded people working for the benefit of the community as a whole. They are not there to 'shaft' people, or do away with some charity or other - they are there to support the whole village.


Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Sue (28th Mar 2017  21:18:03)

Sorry Dawn that just doesn't wash. My interpretation of Dee's post was that she listened to the Chairman giving his reasons for the increase but refused to answer questions. It doesn't matter if it was one meeting - that is not democratic.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Bob (28th Mar 2017  22:02:21)

Dawn, the same question was asked during the public sessions of the full Council meeting latter, the answer, it will be dealt with in the F&P report.
The report was given and ended with "no questions from the public"
How is that democracy? The answer to the question was not given.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Cllr Jane Ives (29th Mar 2017  08:50:12)

As a councillor I would encourage you to attend meetings to keep up to date with information but I understand that not everyone can do this. But, as Dawn says, it is the best place to go to get questions answered. You can also drop into the Parish Office and leave a note for any councillor to contact you or you can email any of us individually or use the contact details published for us here:

bramshottandliphook-pc.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Councillor-address-list-June-2016.pdf

We held our Annual Parish Meeting on Monday where there were public questions and discussions about lots of local issues including council tax. District and County Councillors were also there to answer questions.

Information about our meetings, including minutes, are all published on the parish council website:
bramshottandliphook-pc.gov.uk

and our Facebook page gives information about latest news and updates:
www.facebook.com/bramshottliphookpc

Unfortunately there is a lot of abuse on this site and most councillors avoid it as a lot of misinformation is published. Dawn is quite correct to point you in the right direction for information but there is an even better way which is to contact us directly.

Please do email me if there is anything you wish to discuss at
cllr.jane.ives@bramshottandliphook-pc.gov.uk

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- liz (29th Mar 2017  08:56:05)

Dawn

"Rules of the game". It is not a game. The PC has asked for a substantial increase relative to inflation which it does not seem able or willing to justify.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Concerned Ratepayer (29th Mar 2017  12:54:06)

Cllr Ives,
Do you not think that the Parish Council has an obligation, at least a moral one, to explain to the ratepayers as to why the increase is 13.6% this year on top of a 10% last year? Why the Neighborhood plan is not financed by reserves if it is going to pay for itself? There was absolutely nothing sent with the demand. There is nothing on your website or in the minutes that give anything like a reasonable explanation.
This is not abuse it is asking perfectly reasonable questions.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Sue (29th Mar 2017  14:51:04)

I am glad that Liz has picked up on Dawn's unfortunate phrase "Rules of the game". Spending taxpayers money is certainly not a game. I agree with Cllr Ives abuse on this site to anyone is not acceptable. I do think that as Concerned Ratepayer states the Parish Council does have an obligation to explain to ratepayers the reason for this year's fairly substantial increase. The onus should not be on the public to attend the meetings as this is not possible for everyone. In addition I know I keep referring to Dee's post, but she did attend the meeting and the chairman refused to take questions. Dawn says this is just one meeting, but I myself attended a meeting regarding the closure of The Willows Nursery some couple of years ago and again the public were told "no questions." There was such an outcry - it was a meeting very, very well attended by the parishioners - that grudgingly some questions were taken. This makes people feel resentful and unheard and they come away feeling frustrated and unfairly treated as they did at that meeting.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Dawn Hoskins (29th Mar 2017  18:07:41)

Everything we do in this life has rules attached. I make no apology for referring to anything you want do achieve as knowing the rules of the game you are intending to play. It may be terminology peculiar to me - but that changes nothing. If you want to negotiate/achieve something you first need to understand the rules you must follow.

I refer to this life and everything in it as the game and if you want to play you have to know the rules.

Running onto a cricket pitch with a tennis racket won't get you very far.
Demanding a debate on a topic that no councillors have had notice of - not going to happen.

I felt sure that the Willows issue would come up - that is a precise example of people not understanding the rules. No one asked for a debate on the Willows in the month preceding that meeting, a number of people simply decided to turn up to an already fully agenda'd meeting and expect everything else on the agenda to be thrown aside. Wrong rules. If you don't understand the game - you can't play. You lose - not because anyone else has cheated you - but because you turned up with no knowledge of the rules. It is also a great example of wanting large amounts of money to be continually thrown at something. If it is 'your' club - you want the cash even if it is taken from another worthy recipient.

Cllr Ives has given you all the contact details you need (although they have always been freely available), why don't some of you go directly for a group conversation so that past meeting and past decisions can be explained to you. I won't be as good as getting all the information from the meetings, but it would be better than foot-stamping and demanding answers from a community forum. However, I expect that most will not want to do this - it involves speaking to people face to face. If you can't even put your full name to your opinion - how can you have a face-to-face meeting?

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Grant (29th Mar 2017  20:03:39)

Dawn are you going out your way to be patronising and arrogant????!!!!!
You posts appear rather troll like at times, and not all that helpful.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- nicola (29th Mar 2017  22:44:20)

Another blinding response Dawn..... but i'm not sure the various threads in this discussion expect any action from parish Councillors from this thread directly. Some call it sabre rattling, You seem convinced it is people complaining after the facts
For my part as one of the 'face less' i used an open and public forum albeit online to gauge what fellow locals felt on the tax rise issues, I post with a view to get a reaction and then read and digest, My questions are not aimed at the parish Councillors nor am i looking for change directly from the posts. This i am sure is the same for most posters on this issue.
For me the parish council is a SYSTEM which as you say has rules, rules that mean that on all decisions 12 people decide for the community. So what does that mean for me, If i attend a parish council meeting i stand as one voice against these 12 - no contest. If i speak to Councillor face to face again - no contest. I have attended parish meetings and seen the process in action.
The best way to tackle any system is to come together with like minded individuals who then collectively have a stronger voice. The best way to find this group is to openly ask what others feel. This forum and this thread along with other has shown that there are others like me who think that enough is enough with the way monies are spent, or want questions answered. STEP 1 Achieved
I am not the slightest bit interested that Councillors consider one charity is worthy of money and another isn't. It came as no surprise that the tennis club get a grant but the age concern didn't, that's the system and the die is cast. I new when entering this forum on this issue that the council tax would not change this year. I'm not that stupid.
As a result of this second years parish council tax rise i have now read and researched far more about our parish council and its policies than i ever would have done before and as a result i am more convinced than ever that lone voices never get heard. What i want this thread to achieve is for locals to COME TOGETHER and get answers and action. Only as a group can this be achieved.
I applaud parish Councillors for their desire to serve on the council. They deserve respect and certainly do not deserve to be harassed or insulted. They are a group with their opinions and their rules. Unfortunately these are at odds with my opinions so i am keen to see what others think then maybe these people can come together to balance the equation and get the answers they want.
Its simple democracy.
Surely that is the purpose of Talkback.
'For the residents and businesses in Liphook to voice their views and opinions about issues and events.'


Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- liz (30th Mar 2017  09:05:18)

We can contact the councillors directly. I knew that. Why can't they provide the information publicly for everyone?

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Sue (30th Mar 2017  11:05:54)

Well said Nicola and Liz. I have been to more than one PC meeting, albeit not recently because I soon realised it was a waste of time and confirm that questions are not answered and IMO there are too many meetings where the public are excluded - and please before anyone says there aren't, I know that there are. As Liz says make public the reasons one by one for the tax increase. When people have that knowledge they can make their own minds up as to how wisely taxpayers money has been spent.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- KT (30th Mar 2017  11:50:42)

85p per month on a band D household....just try and remember that! 13% sounds a lot but this is what it equates to.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Dawn Hoskins (30th Mar 2017  12:17:58)

Nicola,
That is brilliant and I applaud you for wanting to get engaged yourself and to try to get others to do the same. However, there are a number of posters here that have made the same moans for many years and have never got engaged, never made any effort to understand the rules which bind the parish council and therefore bind the parishioners.

Many people posting here, did not understand that the parish council proportion was only a small part of their council tax bill. I'm not saying that was you - I'm just saying that people were up in arms because they didn't understand the tax bill.

There is always 'one particular thing' that pushes us into action and for you, it is the rise in expenditure of the parish council - I don't have any worries about that and wish everyone would get so involved. That is why I became a parish councillor myself - I felt that the system was completely broken and had been for a number of years. At that time the only way to try and fix it was to become a parish councillor.

It was a shock to see that the same archaic rules used a hundred years ago are still in place and still bind every councillor and bind what they can do, what they can say, when they can speak etc etc A real shock. It means that meetings can only ever be formulaic and set in stone weeks before the event. That means that councillors cannot react 'as they would in normal life' to instantaneous events.

I would love to see a group of people in the village get involved, to see over the course of the year what 'pulls' there are on finances and why those exist. Often, in our own homes we can put things off - but with public buildings, nothing can be put off if it may be unsafe. I really hope that you do engage Nicola, maybe even consider standing as a rep on the neighbourhood plan committee, then you can then post about it here to try and get other people engaged.

As far as next years tax, you will see that the heads of all the committees in charge of all the budgets will have been asked 3 or 4 months prior to voting to list what things are to be budgeted for, eg:the bridge repair, the hole in the roof, the hole in the amphitheatre (with proper quotes), and on and on. Then, this becomes the expenditure for each committee for the future year. There will be meetings for this at Finance and Policy (all open to the public). Then it has to be agreed by the full council. This then becomes the parish council proportion on the council tax. That process [from decisions being taken based on expenditures existing and pending through to final agreed amount] takes a long time and has been voted on (in public) at least twice before you get the tax bill. It has been done and dusted before the paper goes to print on the tax bill itself - that is why it is then too late to start arguing about it after you receive it.

It's great to argue about it - but at the right time and in the right place - otherwise it is just empty air. That is what I talk about when I say 'know the rules' This forum is not ever going to be a place where councillors give answer and debate. They have set channels which are: by phone, by email, by face to face meeting or at council meetings. The first 3 are better as you can have long conversations about what is bothering you - at council meetings you get a set number of minutes and only if the subject is on the agenda.

The reason for that is that this forum has been abused by 'ringers' deliberately using false names to slander and defame people. The parish council knew the identity of these people and a number of them still exist in some name form or another. It means that the 'few' ruined it for the many.

And in answer as to whether I try to be annoying - no I don't but I do have difficulty writing in an informal register (years of legal training and legal drafting knocks that out of you). I am sorry if my writing style is upsetting - I get very upset when people are ambiguous, use bad grammar and spelling and are generally unclear. We are all different.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Concerned Ratepayer (30th Mar 2017  12:31:52)

KT
That is not the point.

Dawn
You have written another long epistle but it again misses the point.
We have had NO proper explanation from the Parish Council.
Such an increase for the second year in succession is unacceptable without any reasonable explanation.
After all it is our money they are spending, they should not waste it.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- liz (30th Mar 2017  13:06:42)

Dawn

Your last post is quite insulting. You have no idea who on this forum has or has not become involved and to what extent. Also I think most people are fully aware that the Parish Council portion was only a small amount of the Council Tax bill. However the PC portion percentage increase shone out like a beacon. If so much time and effort is spent budgeting by the various committees (and I'm sure it is) why can't we be given a breakdown? Particularly if the rules allow email!

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Bob (30th Mar 2017  14:03:08)

Oh dear Dawn, you have again missed the point, Dee went to the F&P meeting in January and queried the proposed rise in the Parish rate, at the next PC meeting the same question was asked. Both meetings refused to answer any question from the public!!!
The only thing we know is that £35,000 is to be allocated to the Neighbouhood Plan. What a farce that is, 2 years and it's found to be wrong, so it has to start all over again, with every applicant willing to join the Steering Group to be interviewed again, put to the newly appointed Liason Committee for approval before any work can start!!
This NP will give 25 per cent of new builds to the Council (£2000) of which we get nothing. Why can't they take this money from the reserves and pay it back on receipt of the CIL? No ask us taxpayers to fund it?
I look forward to you next rant!

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Dawn Hoskins (30th Mar 2017  16:18:41)

I have heard all the points you have made and accepted them. I hear you - you don't think you've had an explanation.

I'm trying to tell you how to go about getting all the information and explanation that you could possibly want or need. I don't understand how people are not understanding it.

Can you at least TRY to see the point I am making.

I am making the point as clearly as I can - I can only write it in so many ways.


Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Dawn Hoskins (30th Mar 2017  17:20:34)

Concerned Taxpayer, Ray, Nick, Andrew, Irene, Lucy, Liz, JJ, Nicola, Sue, KT, M, wez, Janet, Paul, Dee, Sue, Annoyed, Nicola Grainger, Pail E, Paul Robinson, bob, Grant,

There is no explanation sent out with the council tax demand. Yes, you are right and if you want a detailed list of
• a breakdown budget for where the precept goes,
• all the expenses going out,
• how many of the community have objected to the parks, CAB, soft roller skating park
• How much of these reserves are earmarked specific projects,
• what this increase is going to be used for,
• whether the pc are planing a further increases to the reserves,
• why grants to charities etc came to £21000, an increase of 5%,
• Why some grants appear to be going to commercial activities,
• why the Parish precept is now 65% of the EHDC precept,
• why the reserves have increased,

I expect if you email the chairman or the clerk for a meeting they will oblige and provide all the information you need. But demanding it on this forum will not give the answers to you. If you write to them asking for a vote: that in future can you please have a financial statement outlining the costs – they can put it to the vote – it is not unreasonable to expect to see this on-line. But demanding it here won’t get it done.

Ray, you are right that it is frustrating in the meeting when hands are tied about taking questions, other people have also said that. Going to meetings is an exercise in ‘listening’. The system is archaic and does not allow for adequate discussion. However, the councillors are powerless to change this formulaic approach. This is why the councillors, all of them, have their personal contact details for you to call them, email them and meet them to discuss your queries. Although, as I have said, every item of expenditure will have been discussed at the relevant meetings as would the precept – this being the finance and policy meetings. 12 in a year – they are all open to the public. I know that many people can’t go, but out of the thousands that can – about 5 people do.

You can’t ask questions outside of a very small window of time. This is the rule. It is unchangeable. Don’t complain about it – understand it, accept it and work with it. That is my whole point in all of my posts.

You have to understand the system. You go there to listen to the debate and know who is deciding what based on what evidence. You also know what decisions are going to be on the agenda in the future – what they are investigating etc so you can meet with your councillor and talk to them about it before the decisions are made.

I hope you will at least try to understand that the meetings where these decisions are made are open to the public and you are ALL invited every month. They can’t be ‘hiding behind bureaucracy’ when every resident is specifically invited to all the finance meetings. The invitation is put on every village notice board and says exactly what is being discussed. It is not as one post says hiding behind the 'well you could have come along and said something' the onus is on YOU as parishioners to be interested and to take part in the decision making. That is exactly what the meetings are for.

Just a note about the Millennium Hall for Nicola. It is not by any means self-funding, despite supposedly being built by Sainsbury’s the builders went bust before it was finished and the parish were handed an unfinished and incomplete building which has done nothing but be a financial millstone - with things permanently falling off it and running through it etc.

A note to Nicola Grainger. Every year there is a set window of time for any charity or organisation to apply for money. Sometimes, organisations apply outside of this window. There is always more applicants than money. Hard choices have to be made. On one hand people are upset because too much money has been ‘given away’ on the other, people are upset because their particular group didn’t get any. Maybe it would be better for the pc not to give ANY grants, then everyone would be in the same boat?

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Sue (30th Mar 2017  18:33:16)

Dawn this is so frustrating for everyone. Please just answer two simple questions which are :1) Why when people attend meetings are their questions not answered? This has happened on many occasions at meetings I have attended in the past and similarly I have talked to people who have attended meetings recently and they say exactly the same which is why I and they don't go to meetings any more. By the way the questions asked are relevant to the discussions. 2) Why cannot the PC publish all the figures as to how our council tax is spent including how much is in the Reserve perhaps in a leaflet, paper or whatever so that people interested can pick this up from the parish office. It could be set out in such a way so that everyone can understand it, not a complicated balance sheet or accounts - just a list of grants, expenditure etc, etc Please, please can you just answer those two questions and not give us lengthy and rather patronising posts.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Dee (30th Mar 2017  22:14:22)

KT - I don't care if the rate rise is 85p per month or 8.5p a month. The issue is one of principle, democracy, fairness and transparency.
Dawn - clearly you consider yourself an oracle on this matter and the rest of us just don't get it. Well, maybe I don't ! You speak of the parish being controlled by archaic rules, etc etc. Surely the District and County councils also have to obey constitutional rules, government guidelines etc and yet they have been able to control their spending and run their finances accordingly which meant they could freeze their rates for a couple of years - highly commendable.
And finally Dawn; I could have gone to every tedious monthly meeting but the rates would not have been on the agenda until Jan (when I did go) but, as previously stated, nothing was achieved. Cllr Croucher wasn't there but I was informed that it would be on the agenda for discussion on Jan 30th. On the agenda, yes - discussion, absolutely not and quite frankly, I found Crouchers attitude quite rude and patronising

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Dawn Hoskins (31st Mar 2017  17:36:56)

Hi Sue, When the Agenda is printed it lists all the things to be discussed and voted on by the councillors [by the councillors] then the agenda also gives a small time window for (1) Questions about things which are not on the Agenda and (2) Questions about things which ARE on the Agenda.

The Agenda is printed way in advance of the meeting so you should know if your question falls into (1) or (2).

To ensure success: What you need to do is submit your question BEFORE the meeting to give the clerk and councillors the time they need to gather all the answers to your query. If you just ask ‘straight off the bat’ for something they don’t have all the facts and figures for – they can’t answer you, as to do so would be giving you incomplete information. Although – saying that – if you haven’t submitted your question beforehand, you can then ask at the meeting for the answers to your particular query to be sent to you.

So, for example. You want to know if the PC can publish all the figures as to how our council tax is spent including how much is in the Reserve perhaps in a leaflet, paper or whatever so that people interested can pick this up from the parish office. So, you need to email this question to the clerk council@bramshottandliphook-pc.gov.uk and ask for it to be discussed by the councillors at the next full council meeting.

p.s. I’m sorry if you think I am patronising – that is never my intention. I only wish for people to take the time to understand the process.

Dee, no I am not an oracle, but I have taken the time to fully understand how the process works. I agree that everyone should be tightening their belts, I also do not like paying tax. All levels of council have to obey constitutional rules and government guidelines as you say, but these things do not control spending. The PC have voted to make the improvements and repairs and these went through without objection – that is what sets their budget for the year.

Just because I understand the system doesn’t mean I agree with everything that the Parish, County or District council have done or plan to do. All I have been trying to say – right from the start – is that it is no good moaning on here – you have to follow the correct procedure to make your voice heard. The rules are not flexible enough (not flexible at all) to allow for the PC to take account of views on forum which has been thoroughly used and abused by fictional characters over the years.

Dee. The system for having discussion with your councillors is to call them, meet with them or email them. If you want something put on the Agenda, the councillors will discuss it, you have to submit it to the clerk at least a weak prior. However – it is the councillors that discuss it (normal humans just have to sit and listen). You ma , it you’re lucky, get 2 minutes of allotted time during open questions (but this will depend on how many people are also there as if too many there won’t be time. It is better to ensure your question is answered by submitting it before the meeting. The system at meetings simply does not allow for what you are expecting. Not because the councillors are being rude – but because that it how it is, inflexible and unchanging.

I am interested to know what you thought of the Finance and Policy meeting which approved all the budgets and expenses put forward by all the different committees.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Concerned Ratepayer (1st Apr 2017  07:40:13)

Dawn,
If you read my first post you would see that my question was about communication, and not about the process used by the parish council that is for the councillors to follow.
We are the people paying for their activities and have a right to know how our money is being spent.
The council should be doing it as a matter of course we should not be having to drag it out of them.
I am sure that if it was a reasonable increase it would not have been questioned, but on top of the large increase last year it should be justified to the ratepayers.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Sue (1st Apr 2017  11:23:01)

Dawn you say that questions are divided into two categories – 1) questions about things that are not on the Agenda and 2) Questions about things that are on the Agenda. You then say that questions have to be submitted before the meeting to the clerk, but if a question hasn’t been submitted beforehand you can request at the meeting for the answers to be sent to you. Is this a particular rule that only applies to B&L parish council, because I have attended council meetings in other parishes where questions not submitted beforehand are asked and answered albeit in a slot allocated for questions from the public. In addition according to Dee the chairman at the meeting on 30 January REFUSED to take questions. You also say that pre submitted questions give the councillors time to gather the necessary information. I understand that might apply in some cases but surely for many questions the councillors should know the answers. After all in the case of how taxpayers money is spent they VOTE ON IT. Are you saying that councillors don’t know all the facts and yet still vote?
In answer to my suggestion that a paper should be published showing all the fact and figures regarding council tax and the reasons for the increase you suggest that an email should be sent to the clerk so that the matter can be discussed at the next full council meeting. Why should it be for a matter of discussion. This information should be in the public domain. The PC should not be the body who decides what and what is not to be made public when it comes to information and expenditure. It is not their money – it is the taxpayers’. As Concerned Ratepayer says “The council should be doing it as a matter of course we should not be having to drag it out of them.”

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Dawn Hoskins (1st Apr 2017  12:46:50)

Dear concerned ratepayer and concerned taxpayer (I think you are the same?)

I have explained in detailed how to get what you are asking for. I am answering questions which have been put directly to me - as fully as possible so there can be no misunderstanding.

I hear you. You didn't get the communication you wanted. Now you have to do something to go about getting the communication that you want. Not just you, but everyone else that has expressed dissatisfaction with the published accounts.

At present, the obligation upon the pc is to invite you all to attend all their meetings, publish the agenda for their meetings and publish the precis of the meeting. Hold and AGM. That is it. If they do this and parishioners attend, every scrap of expenditure will have been listened to and voted on. This invitation means that all the decisions have been made publically and 'published' so to speak. They are meeting their obligations as far as the rules stand and are not obligated to do any more than they already do.

The obligation on parishioners is only to attend.

I hear you. You don't think you should have to attend meetings. However, that is the system - so you have to make an effort if you want something outside of what is 'set in stone'. It's frustrating, it's a decade behind as far as social media and accessibility...yes. But it is what it is.

I didn't make the rules, or agree with them (I tried to change them when I was serving as a councillor, unsuccessfully). It is my personal opinion that any report or professional documents procured by the pc and paid for by the taxpayer should be published immediately, in full.

I am not trying to be patronising, annoying etc, I am just trying to explain what the pc are obligated and permitted to do - is never going to meet your expectations. Unless you make the effort to request a change in made. It has to be parishioner-led; the change will never happen if you are waiting for it to be council-led.

Certainly, it would be more helpful if when minutes are published, instead of simply referring to a 'draft budget' or a committee budget that it was actually included in the upload - so that parishioners can see the numbers and what they are attributed to.

If you read through the minutes for the year, say for the Millenium Centre, you can get a very good idea about what works have happened and why. There are not that many to read and they are pretty short. However, as mentioned already, reading minutes that directly refer to another piece of paper [that you can't see] is, quite frankly, stupid. If it annoys you - seek to change it.

I have posted links to the minutes for the Millennium Centre in case you want to read through. Plus the F&P ones that mention the budget.

bramshottandliphook-pc.gov.uk/... 11th Jan 2017

bramshottandliphook-pc.gov.uk/... 9th Nov 2016

LMC - March 2017.
bramshottandliphook-pc.gov.uk/...

LMC - March 2017
[bramshottandliphook-pc.gov.uk/...c]

LMC - January 2017
bramshottandliphook-pc.gov.uk/...

LMC - November 2016
bramshottandliphook-pc.gov.uk/...

LMC - September 2016
bramshottandliphook-pc.gov.uk/...

LMC - July 2016
bramshottandliphook-pc.gov.uk/...

LMC - May 2016
bramshottandliphook-pc.gov.uk/...

LMC - March 2016
bramshottandliphook-pc.gov.uk/...





Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- tony (1st Apr 2017  14:16:50)

Dawn, you may be the most patient person I know, but they are not listening to you.

Don't you know the rabble always want simplistic answers "council out, get rid of them, rubbish, robbers!"

I'm not defending the council mind you, just applauding your patient explanations of meeting, agendas and process, it's priceless but not what they want to hear!

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Ian (1st Apr 2017  17:35:59)

Dawn, you are on a hiding to nothing here I am afraid! As the EC referendum here and the Trump election over the pond showed, most of the population in western democracies are either thick or ignorant. Well done for trying but I think you are assuming a potential for understanding that just simply isn't there

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Concerned Ratepayer (1st Apr 2017  17:37:49)

Dawn,
You win for verbosity and repeating the same thing. You do not actually need to list the council minutes, they are all there to see and read on their website!
Tony I don't think that anyone has said on this thread "council out, get rid of them, rubbish, robbers!"
All that people are asking is for an explanation of the way above inflation
demand from the Parish council? Simple!

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- nicola Grainger (1st Apr 2017  18:28:15)

Welcome the mindless. At least now concerned local parishioners have a group name - The Rabble.
I have followed these threads and added comment from the quite early on and what amazes me is that several underlying facts stand out.
One of the key points in this thread is the lack of knowledge. interestingly this has mean't that many have asked why the PC doesn't respond on this forum or similar to make people more aware.
The answer by Dawn why Councillors don't use Talk Back was because of abuse and insults. I had some skepticism of this especially after Councillor Ives post which didn't draw any negativity. Thankfully Tony has posted to balance the argument and show just what can be achieved. Unfortunately he misses the point.
Dawn you have repeatedly pointed out that people should air their concerns to Councillors at meetings and face to face. Thank you for that. You also repeatedly point out that this thread and people on it will achieve nothing. Moreover you point out that the PC follows a rule book that most are unaware of. Thank you but Dawn we heard that the first time around. My concern is that it is you that is missing the key point.
I took the time to see what points you stood for, I see that you have real concerns about public engagement and i applaud your stance on wanting to change an archaic and slumbering process but it has to be said as you have stated that you failed to get change.
For my part until the latest tax rise i had little interest in the PC. For me throwing a few pounds at them every year was fine. This time however something stood out. The increase was ONLY
13.6% but last year it was 10.1% that means cumulatively we are looking at some 26% . This level of increase year on year could see the Parish council tax double in 6 years and i can only guess at what the reserves will stand at.
So i started to wonder am i alone with this concern. TALK BACK provided the answer. Is it perfect? no but its a start.
Indeed the rise led me to look at the PC activity in some depth. I think by now i have read virtually all the minutes for the last year or so., i have read the parish plan (all three sections) and look at agendas frequently.
Before you say it, i know that these only give a hint of the discussion.
I visit this thread every day and read what others have to say. I agree that some information maybe or is erroneous but i can check that out later. The key fact is that people are talking. You talk much of the rules and the process as do others on here. The single most obvious fact that comes through is that as an individual the system is primarily set to listening mode. I can ask a question (at the right time) then i listen.... i have no say, I am one they are the 12 and decision is for them. You Dawn went all out when standing to seek change, to get engagement and action but it failed you are one against 11 others.
The concerns still exist and the rules are still the same. Therefore your continued calls for people to make visits to the PC or face to face meetings with Councillors will result in what....my concerns will be allayed. As the concerns of the parishioner who asked at a recent meeting about the use of reserves for the neighborhood plan but was told that these were for future plans. Or the concerned parishioner who sought assurance from the PC about limits on the continuation large annual increases but was told that no guarantees could be given. They listened and now what......
The simple fact of modern society is that we are not such a close knit community. I know my near neighbours and a few others but that it, I certainly don't know what others in Liphook think of PC policy.
You make much of the futility of this forum and have canvassed on the need for people to get into the system and follow the rules. I say that you are wrong.
The precursor to change must be discussion, research, evaluation and debate. This hopefully (albeit may be as you seem to suggest unlikely) leads to engagement, understanding and MAYBE change. We know what the PC think, we are paying for it but what does everyone else think.
You say this is pointless but i say this thread is merely embryonic. It and you being involved has already started something. I know what other think, I know more about PC rules and systems and so on.

Yes their will be people like Tony, that's life.

Even more, you yourself have posted some points for positive ways forward. I hear what you say about the 'clunky' system. I also hear what other posters (and i don't feel any requirement to identify them or associate them) have said about public statements on budgets. You suggested possibly actively engaging in getting a flyer or leaflet produced detailing the new years budget. Without this thread that idea would be limited to you I say great Its a start. I have also thought on this, I have looked at the PC website, surely we could use the 21st century technology to publish data in a user friendly manner. Maybe get parishioners to register properly with names and addresses (and pseudonyms if necessary) where abusive posters can be removed. If the service was good and the info informative then surely this is something worth investing in. There are i am sure many others with ideas and maybe as a group getting together we could push the PC into adopting, all for the better. For me this thread has made the Liphook PC far more relevant and all from a concern on a tax bill. I now know of other in Liphook who have concerns, I talk to others in Liphook about my concerns to hear their views. I feel that we need to be heard and see information readily available so that all even those that don't want to attend a succession of meeting can feel that they are part of the parish council system and not merely governed by it.

It was this thread that did it though. NOT the parish council.

So i say that you are wrong and long may people continue to post over the top of you, Despite your detailed responses and summaries. If anyone thought posting on hear would lead to withdrawal of the current council tax then they were misguided. Equally if anyone thought that the PC would change the policy or rules after reading these threads they were wrong. If however like me they thought that if we came together to air our concerns and then came forward with constructive comments which we could take to the PC with sufficient backing that may affect a change then we are going forward. Talk Back isn't a waste of time for me and i am sure not for many others.

I like that Councillor Ives posted, Full marks for coming onto the thread, i understand that there are abusers and ringers, for them stay away, we are not interested but above air your concerns and hopefully we can start something before next years budget.
Finally Dawn if i am one with poor grammar that offend then I sincerely apologise. Never one of my strong points. Good at many other things though.

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Nicola Grainger (1st Apr 2017  18:35:39)

Welcome to the thread Ian, will you be joining Tony?

Re: Parish Council Tax Rise
- Dawn Hoskins (3rd Apr 2017  10:49:10)

Hi Nicola
I don't mean that talkback is a waste of time, it is a great place to air your views and have debate etc. and long may it continue.
It is a waste of time only if you think the Parish Council will read it and make changes based upon it. To make changes you have to make an effort to speak to councillors in real-life, not via an on-line forum. I feel however, that you will now be driven to do this. (they are a very friendly bunch you know).

I applaud your interest, it's not much fun reading backdated minutes, but good on you for doing so.

Maybe you would consider becoming a parish councillor? You will get 'slagged off' all day long by people who think you are somehow 'lining your pockets' - but it is still a valuable contribution to the parish.

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