11:55am Friday 27th September 2013 in Letters
WITH reference to "£23 Million gap in Council Tax Budget” at Monmouthshire County Council. With thirty three 33 town and community councils in Monmouthshire many of which are un-elected co-opted cliques, it is apparent that the near million pound precept paid by Monmouthshire County Council to the town and community councils is not scrutinised or supported by business plans. Many county councillors are members of town and community councils, which surely represents a massive pecuniary conflict of interests. It must be noted W When many public bodies in Wales are working in partnership amalgamating to cut costs, the 33 town and community councils still work independently costing tax payers thousands of pounds in duplications of service.
My community council represents a fair example. It most recently purchased a pre-1940s building which contains various amounts of asbestos which needs hundreds of thousands of pounds spent on it to make it fit for purpose. The council then leased toilets off MCC raising the Local precept by 25 per cent, the toilets were not compliant for the disabled and now the community council propose to buy a random field. In all these cases no business case or consultation was presented to the community who they purport to represent.
The services are duplicated by other organisations within the community and are DDA compliant whilst the community council in the absence of any creditable community plan, pursue their own agenda.
, whilst Play equipment ,Bus Shelters ,Phone Boxes, Toilets and Village Hall fall into disrepair, Important Road Safety Issues are ignored, (lack of pavements). Whereas Monmouthshire County Council use social media and public meetings to consult residents on budget setting, community councils keep their tax setting meetings closed to residents. , this lacks transparency at grass route level It's time that town and community council expenditure capacity was reviewed bringing it in line with 21st Century, which may help reduce the £23m deficit at Monmouthshire County Council.
James Harris The Cross Caerwent
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