Saturday, January 31, 2015

Why Darlington Conservatives are running a petition against another council tax rise

Reasons to sign the petition to Darlington Borough Council against another Darlington council tax rise in 2015:
  • Council tax has more than doubled in Darlington since 1997.
  • Council tax is already the biggest bill most people in Darlington face after their rent or mortgage.
  • In the last five years, only 9 councils in the whole country have put up Council Tax more than Labour have put it up in Darlington.
  • This 1.99% rise will take council tax for the average Band D home in Darlington above £1,500 a year.

  • The rise will cost families in Darlington between £20 and £60 depending on the home they live in.
  • The rise will cost Darlington families a total of £760,000 a year.
  • If Darlington Council keeps council tax the same, it will receive £380,000 from central government - this is more than half the money that would be achieved with a 1.99% rise, and it would be money from the centre that stayed in the town.
  • This 1.99% rise is deliberately chosen to avoid a local vote (all council tax rises of 2% or more have to be approved by local people in a referendum, so inefficient councils hike up their taxes by just under 2% to avoid public scrutiny)
  • With elections in Darlington in May anyway, the cost of having a vote on any council tax rise would be tiny - just the cost of printing a few more ballots and counting them.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Kevin Nicholson BEM to stand for Darlington Council

I am very pleased to read in the Northern Echo that Kevin Nicholson is standing for Darlington Council as an independent candidate in May. With the help of a great team of staff, Kevin has turned around the fortunes of the Firthmoor & District Community Association, which he chairs.

Having Kevin on the Council wouldn't only help Eastbourne and Firthmoor residents. He would bring so much dynamism and ability to the workings of the Town Hall, and I look forward to working with him if he is elected. You can find out more about Kevin at his home page and his Facebook page.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Brafferton gypsy site refused by planners

The refusal of this new travellers site in Darlington is 100% right. Far too often, these sites have been allowed to flout the laws that apply to everyone else. Under the last Labour government there were a disgraceful 1,279 illegal travellers sites officially tolerated. If elected as MP for Darlington, I would always take a tough approach to inappropriate traveller sites and work with local residents to prevent them.

First-time buyers at highest level since 2007, says Halifax

This is straightforward good news:

First-time buyers at highest level since 2007, says Halifax

Monday, January 05, 2015