Council tax protests grow
ALMOST 300 coupons from readers giving their views on Suffolk's council tax debate have now been received at The Evening Star's offices.Many have a similar theme – the majority have been sent in by pensioners who are angry that council tax increases have more than eaten up their pension rises.
ALMOST 300 coupons from readers giving their views on Suffolk's council tax debate have now been received at The Evening Star's offices.
Many have a similar theme – the majority have been sent in by pensioners who are angry that council tax increases have more than eaten up their pension rises.
They have many of the same targets in their sights: Sunday library opening has annoyed many people, others feel too much is spent on road safety schemes, the county's move to Endeavour House, council pensions, and many people think too much is spent on wasteful bureaucracy.
However there have been some alternative suggestions from a minority of people.
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Mr D. Ramsey from Christchurch Drive in Woodbridge felt it is wrong for any council to subsidise swimming pools.
"Some of the amenities are under-priced for the users, for example swimming pools.
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"A majority of tax payers have never seen the inside of a swimming pool and have no wish to do so, after all we don't subsidise people to go to the cinema or a day out to the seaside," he said.
He also felt money could be saved on libraries because only a minority of people ever use them.
That was a view followed up in another coupon sent in anonymously: "Why should we have to pay for public libraries? If people want to read books they can go to a bookshop," it said.
There has been a legal requirement for county councils to run public libraries since the second world war.
Another – unsigned – coupon suggested big cutbacks in the education service.
"When I was a child we only had two exercise books, for writing and arithmetic, and we learned a lot more than these youngsters today," it said.
"And we left school to do something useful at 14."
Many people want to see the A140 returned to central government control – however the decision to "de-trunk" the road came not from a county council desire to take it over but from the government's wish to get rid of its management!
Another area suggested for cutbacks was the floral displays on the roundabouts around Ipswich.
However a spokesman for the borough council said these are sponsored by companies and actually bring money into Civic Centre.
"You could say this is a roundabout way of us making money – making sure we get the best possible sponsorship deal is a perennial question for us," he said.