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A good councillor makes a huge error

with 5 comments

cllr. ken hickmanA massive reduction in council tax?

I’ve just received an election leaflet from the veteran Progressive councillor Ken Hickman, a man for whom I have a huge amount of respect, Ken has already served as a diligent councillor in South Tyneside for 23 years which is a remarkable record of public service. He has always taken the view that there is no room for national party politics in your local council and has steadfastly represented this almost unique South Shields Progressive ethos throughout his years of service.

I remember first meeting him as a teenager when helping my mother to shop in Frederick Street, where he and his late wife ran a successful business as a fruit and vegetable retailer, always a person of humility and always one of those typical Geordies with his heart in the right place and prepared to go out of his way to help other people. He has carried this value throughout his life even when personal circumstances have not been at their best for him, he is everything that you would wish a local council representative to be.

It bothers me that Cllr, Jane Branley should try to split the vote further in the West Park ward by putting another member of the Branley family in as an Independent Alliance candidate, and try to unseat one of South Tyneside’s unsung heroes.

However, back to Ken’s leaflet, it contains an error, so glaring that it would be wrong to let it pass.

Sustained pressure from your Progressive councillors has seen a massive reduction in Council Tax. Down from 7.9% in 2002 to 2.7% in 2010.

Looks good, sounds good, but fatally flawed – there have never been any reductions in Council Tax in South Tyneside throughout Labour’s history of managing the borough’s finances. There have only been year on year increases, constantly, relentlessly, without fail! Labour is the party of spending, thrift is something they would wish to avoid if possible until it is forced upon them, to spend you need to tax, the more you tax the more you take out of your local economy.

I think he meant to say a reduction in the rate or scale of the increases.

I’m surprised that Ken has not zeroed in on Labour’s record in this respect, but I can understand that his concerns now will be more focussed on defending his seat against another Branley independent rather than fighting it out against the Labour Party.

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Written by curly

April 25, 2010 at 10:07 am

5 Responses

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  1. This is a fault that most encumbent councillors and Governments share in – and many people accept this clever bit of brain washing. The rise in your council tax is down reminds me very much of Harold Wilsons ‘This will not affect the Pound in your pocket’ when he devalued our currency.
    As a nation we are very money orientated and as long as the words do not include ‘it will cost you more’ most will accept the double speak dished out by dishonest politicians

    Christine

    April 25, 2010 at 11:53 am

  2. The same claim is on Laurence Nolan’s leaflet, so I’m guessing it’s on all the Progressive leaflets. However, I saw it as a simple typo showing nothing more than poor proof reading, and certainly not worthy of an angst ridden post which gives ammunition to Hickman’s opponents and ‘politicians are all corrupt’ posters like Christine.

    brian

    April 26, 2010 at 7:54 am

  3. Believe me, there are very few councillors who will admit rises in council tax or any other tax without adding just how much the services have improved.
    Hey folks, your council tax has more than doubled in the last ten years, but look at the improvement in services. What improvements? Some may have improved (can’t think of one at the moment), but look at the services we have lost. Look at the services now governed not by local government, but centrally and pushed on to the council tax payer.
    I now pay £1,700pa for a two bedroomed house out in the sticks, the money has to be going somewhere – ah yes on inflated councillors allowances,inflated local government pay – and inflated local government pensions.
    Many councils across this realm are now employing more people than the Royal Navy and continue to recruit.

    Christine

    April 26, 2010 at 9:49 am

  4. Interesting you point out the West Park ward Curly, as we’ve been inundated with various leaflets over the last week.

    The Branleys have obviously put forward another candidate however there`s also been at least 2 others claiming independent status.

    One was quite interesting, no details of the candidate in question other than an email address, with the content consisting of a hefty diatribe over the running of the current system. Supported by someone in Durham and printed in Newcastle.

    Might skip that one …

    Chris

    April 26, 2010 at 1:24 pm


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