Eastleigh shifts election costs onto Towns & Parishes

Pile of One Pound CoinsHedge End Town Council’s Finance and Administration Committee are outraged to have received an unexpected bill for £8k from Eastleigh Borough Council, for running last years Borough Council elections.

All of the Parishes within the Borough of Eastleigh have received a similar bill, though for varying amounts, for the costs that were incurred by the electoral department in Eastleigh when running the Borough elections that were held in 2011.

Hedge End has three such wards, St Johns, Wildern and Grange Park and the £8k is to cover the costs of issuing and distributing polling cards, booking polling stations and manning them etc.

The unexpected bill was discussed at the Finance & Administration Committee meeting of 8th March.

This is the first time that a charge for running a Borough election has been levied on the Town and Parish Councils and was clearly a surprise to the Committee members.  Despite some of them also serving on the Borough Council, none of them had been advised beforehand that the charge was coming, so it had not been budgeted for and was not appreciated at the end of the current Financial year. The bill was also a surprise to the Town Clerk.

A letter from the Returning Officer, Richard Ward, was read out at the meeting, which acknowledged and apologised for the bad feeling that had been caused and which offered an Olive branch, suggesting that the costs incurred could be deferred until 2013/14.

This was clearly not acceptable to the Finance & Administration Committee who resolved to write a “strongly worded letter” and to not pay the charges.

Councillor Keith House, leader of Eastleigh Borough Council and member of Hedge End’s Finance & Administration Committee was not present at this meeting.

The problem has arisen because of the pressure on Local Authorities to make cuts and to freeze Council Tax.  The upper tiers of our three tier system of Local Government are now trying to offload as many of their costs as possible.

Hedge End Town Council, the lowest level of local Government, has already picked-up the lions share of the cost of keeping the local Youth Services running, which Hampshire County Council have cut completely.

This latest charge for the 2011 election expenses, from Eastleigh Borough Council, is another example of off-loading and puts even more pressure on the Town Council to raise its Council Tax precept in 2013.

Eastleigh plans to keep Council Tax increases to 1% below RPI in 2013, but will this only be achieved by forcing the Town/Parish Councils to raise their precepts…?

  8 comments for “Eastleigh shifts election costs onto Towns & Parishes

  1. Stephen Slominski
    March 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Don’t worry soon all that luvvly rent from the hugely successful Rose Bowl will be rolling in.

  2. Peter Stewart
    March 9, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    AT LAST the macro-economic inertia stirred up by allowing Britain’s manufacturing base to be exchanged by fat-cat globalists for nothing more than “cheap” foreign goods has impinged on election costs.

    This was BOUND to happen! Sooner or later the deception of cheap credit (used for so long to mask an economy going down the pan because its manufacturing base was being stolen by ARTIFICIALLY cheap foreign labour) was bound to run out.

    Now, because there is no more easy credit, the only political “option” left is to slash the deficit! Unfortunately it was easy credit (i.e. the deficit) which masked the economic sickness created by having no manufacturing base (i.e. massively increased costs of buying in goods which we could make ourselves as a nation).

    Once the deficit is reduced to zero, another illusion of economic progress will have to be created. Britain will HAVE to make a decision as to whether to carry on with “cuts” (transfer of capital from the working and middle class to the ruling elite – a process limited by the patience of an increasingly oppressed lower class) or abolish globalism and begin bringing back the manufacturing base (i.e. restoring the true capital of the nation to those who deserve it). The third option (easy credit) will NOT be available.

    Meanwhile, the massive cuts are being passed on down the line to the weakest taxable entities. In this case it is the parish councils which will pick up the bill for elections. But it will be the rate payers who PAY those bills! However, this cost would have been imposed anyway (except paid in the ordinary council tax).

    I understand the dismay expressed by the parish councils, but this is largely down to the EU so-called “level playing field” which has allowed greedy fat-cat globalists to profit by the sell off of Britain’s manufacturing base.

    Does everybody grasp this point?

  3. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    March 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Once the deficit is down to zero, we will still have a £1,024.5 billion debt to repay – ideally we need to convert that budget deficit into a surplus!

  4. Peter Stewart
    March 10, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Well noted!

    Most people do not realize our “structural deficit” (spending more than earning) and our “debt” (amount borrowed and due to be paid back) are facets of the same economic problem: A crippled INDUSTRIAL base.

    Firstly in 1973 we scrapped many protective trade tariffs due to our absorption into the EU. This extremely damaging macro-economic change resulted in the ongoing destruction of MILLIONS of British manufacturing jobs.

    It also conditioned us to accept the abolition of protective trade tariffs and to accept with apathy, the exploitation of cheap foreign (initially Continental) labour.

    Once we were conditioned to regard “cheap” foreign goods as economically necessary, this paved the way for total apathy at the announcement of EU trade deals with non-EU (developing) countries offering cheap labour.

    The net result is a crippled MANUFACTURING base.

    Secondly since 2004, when we opened our borders to a mass immigration of cheap EU labour, we have an increasingly crippled SERVICE base, evidenced by a rise in young people’s unemployment (16 to 24 years of age inclusive) from 12% in 2004 to 22.2% in 2012. In mathematical terms, this increase of 10.2 percentage points equals an 85% growth in youth unemployment (10.2/12 x 100 = 85%)!

    The evidence of our crippled industrial base is a dangerous lack of full time jobs which portends social collapse, despite the removal of firearms from that section of the populace most likely to organize a revolt.

    Also, you must consider the increased cost to Britain of importing quality goods (i.e. steel, trains, cars etc.) which we could make ourselves. We are paying through the nose to get others to make the things we could make. This is one of the main causes of the structural deficit and the debt.

    Those who argue that globalism allows us to source “cheaper” goods, never mention two key points.

    Firstly the ONLY beneficiaries are the fat cat globalist entrepreneurs who increase their profits by exploiting cheap labour.

    secondly prices to the CONSUMER NEVER GET CHEAPER as a result of switching to cheap foreign labour.

    Thirdly when you factor in the cost of replacing “cheap” foreign goods which fail after only a short time, plus increased unemployment benefits, increased NHS costs due to stress related illnesses as a result of unemployment, then the cost of globalism is beyond measure.

    Ultimately these things become obvious to most people when “cuts” are passed down the line, as they have been here.

    • March 10, 2012 at 11:07 am

      I broadly agree Peter. Allowing our industrial base to be destroyed was not a sensible thing for out Politicians to do.

      I blame Maggie (esp Maggie) & the rest of the Tories for that, though Labour, Red Robbo, Arthur Scargill et al clearly didn’t help matters.

      It was the battle between the two opposing ideaologies that killed Great Britain.

      If it was entirely down to me (which, sadly, it isn’t), I wouldn’t let either of the big two form a Government in future. Certainly not with the large majorities and multiple terms that has tended to happen over the last few decades.

      The coalition is good though. I like that.

      Its fraught at times, but the coalition partners are tending to restrain each others excesses. I think that is a much better way of running the country…

      • Peter Stewart
        March 10, 2012 at 11:31 am

        Alas Ray, the equilibrium which used to be maintained by an alternation of political generations, has been suspended since 1973, by the imposition of a one party state (i.e. the EU).

        It is a fact that we have not changed (or been able to change) our government for the last 39 years! It is impossible to remove our lawmakers (i.e. our government) without leaving the EU, because it is the EU which now makes most of our law. The EU is our government.

        Therefore a coalition (although apparently a good thing in that it appears to moderate the actions of the Tories who so ruthlessly implemented so much massively destructive EU legislation) actually does nothing to moderate the actions of our elected government as a whole, since the latter is now effectively nothing more than a council of rubber stampers. EU legislation has primacy over English law and our elected government implements it ALWAYS and without question. That is a fact. Even the recent (apparent) rebellion by David Cameron at the EU proposal to tax the City, has been shown to be ineffectual. It was always a con!

        It is difficult to grasp the extent to which our own law making has shifted to Brussels, to people we do not elect. Estimates of 70% are modest.

        Until we leave the EU, the EU globalist policies which continue to wreck our manufacturing and service bases, will continue in full force.

        The only way we will ever regain the security we once had as a nation, is to impose selected protective tariffs and to pursue a policy of selective protectionism for at least a decade. There is NOTHING wrong with protectionism. It is what every healthy economy should be doing. If we do this, we can reclaim that the most important parts of that which has been stolen from us by globalists, namely our industrial base. We are no better off for transferring our manufacturing base abroad, than we were in the Great Depression. In fact, I believe in the fullness of time, it will be shown that we are WORSE off.

        See how much damage has been done to the developed world as a result of this transfer of real capital (manufacturing jobs) to the developing world. As a result, not one developed nation, even the USA, has sufficient resilience and confidence, to bounce back from the recession. Without a manufacturing base, this is inevitable.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      March 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      I don’t think a £1,024.5 billion debt has been caused by a crippled industrial base. The total amount both governments have used to support the banking industry is £955 billion.
      Look at those two numbers again.
      Bit close aren’t they? But we are being told it’s not due to bankers its due to the Welfare state, or the NHS, or our crippled manufacturing industry, or Gordon Brown selling off all our gold or even immigrants.
      Anyone but the bankers.

      • Peter Stewart
        March 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm

        Certainly the bankers loaned the money as easy credit. No denying that (hence the similarity in the figures). But who allowed them to do loan all that money so recklessly and why? Answer: Successive governments in Westminster to allow money to trickle into the economy to MASK the effects of our declining economy due to the ongoing decimation of our industrial base (which is where our real production and economic activity stems from). We cannot survive as a service nation!

        All the other developed economies in the world have suffered similarly at the hands of globalists. They have all allowed increased credit (borrowing) to mask the effects of globalism (i.e. transfer of manufacturing base to areas of cheap labour plus allowing imported cheap foreign labour).

        For perhaps 2 decades or more, this easy credit created the illusion of successful economic activity. But the collapse of credit shows vividly that economic activity created out of excessive and unsecured borrowing is no real activity at all in the long run.

        Sooner or later, Britain and the rest of the developed countries MUST reclaim their industrial bases. If not, then economic collapse lies ahead. The developed world is the developed world for a reason. It is total stupidity to try and artificially boost developing countries as all this does is to debilitate the developed countries. It benefits nobody if the developed world crashes!

        There is an old Chinese saying: Never become reliant on anyone. When people know they are reliant on foreign producers, they understandably feel insecure. It is this insecurity which leads to the economic doldrums we are now in.

        Right now, it makes no difference how secure the peoples of the developed world feel because the cuts (i.e. the transfer of money from the lower and middle classes to the ruling elite) (in the name of reducing the “structural deficit”) is overpowering every other consideration.

        Even when the cuts have finished, as we have said before, there is the massive debt to pay off. But once that is paid off, where is our REAL production going to come from? There will NOT be sufficient credit to stimulate bogus economic activity. The City will lie in tatters. I suspect that once this reality dawns, there will be a further and very real recession.

        The good news is that this outcome is not necessary and will probably take a decade, by which time the EU will hopefully have collapsed and we can begin to reclaim our industrial base naturally. Either that, or we could leave the EU (pigs might fly).

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