Precept: Time to call end to charade

So our Police and Crime Commissioner is asking for our support on his recommendation that the Policing Precept in this year’s rates levy is raised. Let’s all remember this when he seeks re-election next year on his steady path towards the Westminster sinecure he so desires.

This increase in the precept is the cynical way that Central Government has been able to raise the amount we pay through rates without being seen to break limits imposed by them.

Police precepts and Town Council precepts are not capped, hence the large increase recommended at the last Town Council Meeting for householders in Horncastle. And why are the Town needing to raise extra money, it’s because the District Council has decided that the town can not only have responsibility for running its own assets back, but should take over some of the responsibilities for areas with which ELDC have historically had responsibility, ie planning.

So ELDC save money by shifting their responsibilities to the Town, where we the ratepayer pick up the increase in costs as there is no cap on what can be charged.

Meanwhile, the question has to be asked, with this reduction in responsibilities will we see a reduction in ELDC rates? No of course not, their increase will be within the limits whilst their responsibilities decrease, hence they will present themselves as virtuous while at the same time doing even less. It is time to call an end to this charade!

With the increase in responsibility for the town in running its own affairs then the need for ELDC reduces, so let’s see plans now for its demise, and the enormous expense of running their empire being used by the Town for its purposes, and those ELDC services which affect the whole district be moved to the County Council.

Finally, I can’t help wondering whether the Town Councillors with all this added responsibility will be forced into the position of having to pay themselves an allowance?’

Alan J Lockwood

by email