Friday, 21 March 2008

Rate Rises

Having just received my rates bill, (yes us councillors do have to pay them!) I notice that the Police/Fire/County,and District managed to keep their rises to the 5% or below region.

However, my illustrious parish council came in with a huge 14.1% rise. What do they spend their money on? I should know as I used to be a parish councillor, but was booted out in 1999. Back then we kept our rises to inflation.

I hasten to add I have no urge to again become a Parish Councillor, 8years was enough.

15 comments:

Michael Child said...

Ken any idea why the amount for the chief executive has risen so much?

Ken Gregory said...

Michael,

No, but will look into it. I suspect it is not an amount paid to him personally, but reflects the restructure, where the Chief execs department has absorbed staff from other departments.

My real concern is with the Parish Precept which just keeps going up by more than any measurable rate of inflation, and they have only one part time employee.

Michael Child said...

Thanks Ken I don’t think it benefits anyone to publish such an enormous rise without any explanation. As far as the parish council goes I wouldn’t know, we voted to have one here in Ramsgate but it seems to be taking a long time to appear.

Anonymous said...

Your Parish Council must have had an explanation for such a large rise in their minutes. I know that being a Parish councillor is usually a thankless task, hours and hours of voluntary work that is totally ignored by district

Ken Gregory said...

Anonymous 1807

Try to find our parish minutes or accounts, Sherlock Holmes would be needed!

Seriously, The Parishes in Thanet are always heeded by TDC, however, because of a lack of training, sometimes their views are a bit berift of knowledge

Anonymous said...

Ken, what is your personal view on the different tiers of local government? It seems to me that county, district and parish/town is overkill. Most politicians - of all parties - will say that governance should be as close to the electorate as possible, but in these modern times, with the services that need to be delivered, is that really sustainable?

Ken Gregory said...

Anonymous,

Me, Irather like the County/District thing, with the parishes as an add on that we have to put up with. (Imagine the uproar if parishes / town councils etc were abolished.)

The goverment seems hell bent on regional government, with unitarys below that. Below that you would have a beefed up Parish/Town Council.

My personal view is that this would lead to more staff, and more duplication. Thus more cost.

This all goes back to when the Conservatives abolished the GLC. Since then Labour has seemed intent on removing the shire counties, and installing unitarys.

I remember when Gillingham, Chatham and Rochester were involved in a referendum to see if they wanted a unitary. The majority said 'stay within Kent'. so they had a second referendum. Same result, so a unitary was imposed anyway.

Tony said...

Ken, is it correct that the Chief Executive and his 2 deputies, have allowed themselves an extra 3 grades, on the council pay scales, therefore enabling themselves a bigger increase than 2.75%, which the other staff are getting?

Ken Gregory said...

Tony,
will check and get back to you

Ken Gregory said...

Tony,

On initial investigation the answer is NO. The rises for the top three posts are the same as everyone else. I will post more detail later

Tony said...

So they have not told you that they have added another 3 grades of pay for the highest earners only? Thats not what a certain letter sent to the staff says, I am reliably informed.

Anonymous said...

Ken

Do you think the new East Kent LSP, which came into being on 1 April, might lead to a unitary? When Thanet, Dover, Canterbury and Shepway get together and all put money into a central pot it makes me wonder where it might go.

Tony said...

I see ECR has put confirmation on his blog of the "back door" pay rise of the senior staff. Thought they would have told you the truth Ken.

Ken Gregory said...

Tony, What EKR says is basically true, problem is that some our pay grades are not competative with other nearby authorities.

The Document that EKR has 'de shredded' when read in its full version, says this. All the problems that face us cannot be dealt with at once. If you have carp chiefs the lower staff will be restless and not perform. Conversely you have to have quality lower staff, or the top quality chiefs will not get the results.

Its constant juggling to get it right. And by the way EKR is wrong to say Councillors have a real problem going through and understanding the reports. As councillors are a cross section of the community, some will and others not.

Tony said...

Ken, sorry you are communicating with a non-political layman here, could you please define the term "carp chiefs"