It seems that the “leadership” of Boston Borough Council simply does not know when to quit.Instead of taking on the chin the unsurprising public reaction to the inflation busting increases to the top tier recipients of special responsibility allowances, whoever passes for the borough’s chief spin doctor has come up with an interesting explanation.
Not for the first time, it works on the premise that all council taxpayers are idiots and will believe anything that anyone with the noun preface “councillor” cares to tell them.
In this case, the spin-ster of our parish is none other than Council Leader Pete Bedford – who in a moment of rare insight into public opinion tells Boston’s poor, tired and huddled masses: "There will never be a best time for increases.”
He goes on to add: “There have not been any in Boston for six years. We have slipped further and further behind our colleagues in the other Lincolnshire authorities, and still remain substantially below them.”
Then, just as we were reaching for our box of Kleenex, he added the fatuous comment.
“It does demonstrate that we represent value for money here in Boston.”
Well, no it doesn’t.
Value for money – from the point of view of a council taxpayer – is the quality of service we get from the people who style themselves our leaders.
The reality is that what Councillor Bedford and his henchpeople have delivered so far does not represent “value.”
What have they done to date?
Apart from approving two huge increases in allowances in 18 months?
Sold an historic publicly owned asset in conditions surrounded by secrecy … which has meant …
The closure of an important set of public toilets.
Begun charging disabled blue badge holders to park their invalid carriages – with a “back of a fag packet” concession of a “free” thirty minute extension …
Continued funding the white elephant known as the Princess Royal Sports Arena … Wasted thousands on silly projects …
The list goes on and on.
Boston council taxpayers care nothing about how much more neighbouring districts are paid.
As far as we can tell, they are delivering better and improved services and are therefore worth it.
The borough council website tells us: “It will be eight years since the last increase before this increase is fully in place averaging at around 2.5 per cent per year.”
Take a 20% increase over two years, but include the fact that is the first in six years, then juggle the figures to make it look reasonable and more or less in line with inflation.
We have a resident maths whizz as well, whose calculations show that these 10% increases are more like twelve and a half per cent.
The new allowance minus the old allowance gives us the increase, which, divided by the old allowance and multiplied by 100 provides the percentage % increase
In the case of the leader, the figures are £7,322 - £6,487 = £835, which
divided by £6,487 times 100 = 12.87% not 10%.
FOOTNOTE: The word on the street says that Boston’s Assembly Rooms are to be handed over to their new owners in a small ceremony outside the building at 10 am today. If true – expect another load of eyewash from our leaders about what a great deal this is for the town.
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