Gordon Oliver fundamental gaffes on finances showing he doesn’t even know his and his own council’s budget document.
Gordon Oliver fundamental gaffes on finances showing he doesn’t even know his and his own council’s budget document, nor basic maths, nor government initiative to allow the people their say – but then he doesn’t listen does he (Cary Green, business, residents, councillors…)
At Mayor Hustings hosted by BBC Devon last night there were questions on the budget, the danger of large cuts and possible ways to limit.
A member of the audience mentioned that maybe time for council tax to rise.
Martin Brook commented that hundreds and hundreds had gone to ‘have YOUR say on budget’ voicing strongly about devastating effects of cuts (vulnerable, safety, CCTV, libraries, Coast & Countryside Trust, subsidised buses, ERTC.…) and had mentioned putting up council tax a bit to cover but were ignored by Mayor Oliver. Where you one?
Martin further explained that whilst Government had been cutting their support grant to council over the last four years they had introduced new mechanisms to hand over decisions to residents on the services they may value and the level of council tax; the mechanism called “referendum choice”.
Martin explain if council tax had risen by 2% per annum, a Band D property would pay 3 pounds per week more from 2016/17 which could cover 50% of the black hole for that year. He asked “is it not right to involve the public, see their opinion and let them decide on what is or isn’t valuable?” If they do think valuable – they decide. If they don’t – they decide.
Golden Oliver then came back and said, ‘Martin the figures just don’t add up. 1% would just give half a million… ‘
Martin simply produce the council’s medium-term resource plan; the document that sets out the financial position of council over the next Mayor term which is currently showing a need for £45 million of cuts if something isn’t done.
“It’s all in this document Gordon”. The crowd laughed – rightly – because it shows Gordon neither has a grasp of finance, basic maths nor changes in government policy.
On p 9 (updated 28th of January 2015′) it shows council tax level band B and projected Council tax income. 2% increase per annum from start of Mayor Oliver’s term to 2016/17 would add £159.11 p on to Band D £1261.17. That is equivalent to £3.06 p per week extra from 2016/17. On 42,498 homes that would give 6.7 million equivalent to 50% of the £13.4m black hole for that year. For 2017/18 and 2018/19 the black hole is smaller so the percentage higher.
Martin explained he, himself, wouldn’t raise council tax “just simply allow the people to be involved and have a say. Wouldn’t that be right?” Not one of the other candidates even seemed to know this mechanism existed and was available.
Dealing with the black hole is about wastage management (efficiencies and looking and mimicking ideas outside Torbay), giving the people a Say and encouraging business through active pro-business initiatives.
I am standing as an Independent Mayor; independent of political allegiances but definitely not independent of people. I believe in people having more of a voice whether in setting council tax and services, involved in business decisions affecting business, or partner in community on community concerns and issues (Cary Green, ERTC, Pavilion, Oldway….)
As you can see I know figures. I know possible solutions. Hence why I am called an expert in finance and problem-solving (something I’ve done for three decades).
May you vote for Martin Brook on May 7 so that we can work together for a Better Torbay.
Right people, in the right post, doing the right thing.