ON December 13 I completed a politically loaded questionnaire online with reference to Hartlepool Borough Council’s article in the Hartlepool Mail about the Local Council Tax Support scheme.
I say ‘loaded questionnaire’ because there was nowhere on this questionnaire where I could voice my opinion about the scheme.
The questionnaire designed by the council basically asked if I agreed with its decision to impose a 12 per cent reduction on people in receipt of council tax benefit and supplied two boxes.
One box was for a Yes answer and the other box was for a No answer.
Nowhere on this questionnaire was there a box for me to fill in asking why I had come to the conclusion I had.
Now I pay council tax to the council in order for it to run Hartlepool.
I also vote every May to elect a councillor to help the council run the town of Hartlepool.
I do not expect that councillor to then come and ask me how they should do the job of running the town.
However, on this occasion, I will make an exception and I will do just that.
Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher (Mail, December 13), like a good little socialist, whinges and moans about the nasty coalition Government reducing the enormous amount of money it hands him every year by 13.4 per cent.
He now doesn’t have enough money to hand out to everyone claiming benefits.
He complains about how hard it is to do his job as chair of the Finance and Policy committee, and wants council taxpayers of Hartlepool to offer him advice on how to do it.
Hence the online questionnaire.
It is not rocket science, Coun Akers-Belcher.
In fact the answer is very simple.
If the coalition Government reduces the money it gives you by 13.4 per cent then you simply reduce the allowance you give to those claiming council tax benefit by 13.4 per cent.
Then you reduce the budgets in all council departments by 13.4 per cent.
If those in charge of the budgets cannot manage the budgets, then put them in the street-cleaning department and get someone in who can manage the budget.
Or another way to solve your problems, Coun Akers-Belcher, is to do away with council tax subsidies altogether.
If people want to avail themselves of the amenities and services of the council then they should be made to pay for them, and not expect everyone else in Hartlepool to pay for them.
That way we may even be able to keep the cafe in the Central Library open.