Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Town Council report - a sense of priorities

This evening's town council saw the start of the nomination process for next year's mayor and deputy mayor. I was delighted to be able to second the re-election of Dave Gordon to be mayor for a second year and Brian Hogan to be deputy.

I think both have done a great job - representing the town with honour and coming up with fresh ideas to take us forward. Both have been ably supported by their partners acting as Mayoress and Deputy Mayoress. I have heard every mayor I have known say that they could not have done the job without the support of their partner and I can understand it.

The town council was asked today to formally recognise the role of the Mayoress and Deputy Mayoress and I supported the bulk of this proposal. However, whilst recognition is long overdue, I could not back the proposal to spend over £500 on a new chain of office for the Deputy Mayoress. I think that in hard economic times there are more urgent and important uses for council taxpayers' money. However the proposal was supported by the majority of councillors and the money will be spent.

Later this evening, the town council considered burial fess and charges in its role as the burial authority. The proposal was put that charges should rise by £25 across the board because the council needs all the money it can get to provide services and the current income from the cemetery (about £4,325) is nowhere close the the amount spent on it (around £29,000). That's a rise of more than four times the rate of inflation. I opposed this rise because I think times are hard for many people in town and the last thing we need to do is increase the cost of dying. However the proposal to raise charges was supported by the majority of councillors.

It would be a too simplistic to link the two. The council did not raise burial fees in order to fund the new chain of office. But finances are tight - for the town council as for individuals and families. We need to be careful to present the best possible value for money for taxpayers. Overall, I think the town council does a good job, but tonight I felt that we made two wrong decisions.

3 comments:

Mo the Boy said...

As brother of a previous three times mayor this sort of double standards has been going on in this town for as long as I can remember. After 66 years I expect nothing better.

Mo the Boy said...

As brother of a previous three times mayor this sort of double standards has been going on in this town for as long as I can remember. After 66 years I expect nothing better.

Sarah Beagley said...

well i am dun founded that they are doing this £25 is way to much as a single mum looking after my two disabled sons paying my bills and trying to live is hard as it is but for them to spend £500 on a necklace umm beggars be leaf and would like to add i will not be voting for any of them there be a bit of double standards going on and think some of them need to hang up they powers and move on ...give the job to some one how is willing to HELP LAUNCESON NOT THEM SELF'S ,rant over .......... or is it