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> Parish Council's to run their own car parks?, and keep the cash???
spartacus
post Jan 31 2013, 11:23 AM
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linky thing
I see Thatcham Town Council (which is a glorified Parish Council really) is going to be taking on the future management of the car parks in Thatcham in a bid to return them to FREE parking....

All well and good for Richard Crumly et al to say the Town Council want to have them, but how are they going to pay for their upkeep if they get potholes, or lines need to be relaid, or cars get abandoned in there. And although WBC have offered them just Brownfield and Burdwood, they want the Station and Kingsland Centre too.

So if I've read it right, they're 'anti-fee' and want the parking fees removed from Burdwood and Brownfield, yet they want the Station and Kingsland car parks to remain with parking fees (because they bring in money) to help pay for the other car parks upkeep.. Is that right?


My question is, who do the Town Council think will patrol and enforce in the Kingsland or Stationcar parks if they were handed over? It presumably wouldn't be the green meanies... Or are TTC thinking of employing someone to do it, process tickets, deal with challenged tickets etc and (most importantly) bang a hike on the council precept I'm currently paying to help pay for that part?


And if Thatcham get to run the car parks why not Hungerford Town Council? And then Newbury Town Council.... I'm all for having FREE parking but I see a nice rise in council precepts if that happens once they start to realise there's more to it than just having an expanse of tarmac to play with.
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On the edge
post Jan 31 2013, 11:51 AM
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I think this signs up yet again the need to abolish these silly little 'councils'. Are we not supposed to be looked after by a single unitary authority called West Berkshire Council? Lets just keep it at that. If people in various localities want a chat shop, then a residents association would fit the bill. Having these little councils substantially adds to cost and confusion. Newbury Town is an even worse example, illustrated by just one case. I dread to think how much 'officer time' was simply wasted on the internally generated complexity of transferring the management of Victoria Park. I appreciate these councils offer an outlet for certain well intentioned meddlers, but their hobby is costing the rest of us far too much.


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dannyboy
post Jan 31 2013, 01:37 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Jan 31 2013, 11:51 AM) *
I think this signs up yet again the need to abolish these silly little 'councils'. Are we not supposed to be looked after by a single unitary authority called West Berkshire Council? Lets just keep it at that. If people in various localities want a chat shop, then a residents association would fit the bill. Having these little councils substantially adds to cost and confusion. Newbury Town is an even worse example, illustrated by just one case. I dread to think how much 'officer time' was simply wasted on the internally generated complexity of transferring the management of Victoria Park. I appreciate these councils offer an outlet for certain well intentioned meddlers, but their hobby is costing the rest of us far too much.

err, Resident's association = parish council.

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JeffG
post Jan 31 2013, 01:40 PM
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QUOTE (dannyboy @ Jan 31 2013, 01:37 PM) *
err, Resident's association ≠ parish council.

(I fixed your post.)
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dannyboy
post Jan 31 2013, 01:52 PM
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QUOTE (JeffG @ Jan 31 2013, 01:40 PM) *
(I fixed your post.)

It didn't need fixing.


A group of residents in a street get together. Only 75% mind, but enough for a quorum. The decide a few things which they think will benefit everyone on their street so action it.

Over time that 75% shrinks to the die hards & is more like 15%. Hwever a few like minded neighbours from other streets want to join in & the reach of the Association becomes an estate.

They come up with ideas that need cash to implement rather than just good intentions & start to ask for a few £ from every resident......
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On the edge
post Jan 31 2013, 03:18 PM
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QUOTE (dannyboy @ Jan 31 2013, 01:37 PM) *
err, Resident's association = parish council.


Yes, wholly agree but WITHOUT the legislation which provides the ability to precept, employ staff, buy robes and flags etc. etc.. The 'Parish Councils' as exist are statutory bodies, I have to pay just because I live in an area. I can choose to join a residents association and therefore I can choose if I contribute.


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dannyboy
post Jan 31 2013, 07:57 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Jan 31 2013, 03:18 PM) *
Yes, wholly agree but WITHOUT the legislation which provides the ability to precept, employ staff, buy robes and flags etc. etc.. The 'Parish Councils' as exist are statutory bodies, I have to pay just because I live in an area. I can choose to join a residents association and therefore I can choose if I contribute.


Yes, but if there were no parish councils residents associations would soon evolve into them. with all the trappings & cost that is lumbered upon everyone that goes with them.
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Simon Kirby
post Jan 31 2013, 08:02 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Jan 31 2013, 03:18 PM) *
Yes, wholly agree but WITHOUT the legislation which provides the ability to precept, employ staff, buy robes and flags etc. etc.. The 'Parish Councils' as exist are statutory bodies, I have to pay just because I live in an area. I can choose to join a residents association and therefore I can choose if I contribute.

Exactly so. It costs Newbury tax-payers £100k each year to run the mayor. If Arthur Johnson and his chums want to play dressing up then they can join the Newbury Society and be King and Queen of the May for all I care, but it's obscene that the parish council taxes me to pay for their self-indulgence.


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Simon Kirby
post Jan 31 2013, 08:10 PM
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QUOTE (dannyboy @ Jan 31 2013, 07:57 PM) *
Yes, but if there were no parish councils residents associations would soon evolve into them.

Yes, 100% agree. If Newbury Town Council didn't exist then people would be free to work together as a community to provide for themselves - that was the promise of the Big Society. Problem is that the Town Council franchise is worth £1,000,000 annual revenue and the franchise owners aren't about to let some bunch of community-minded self-reliant plebs knock the bottom out of their scam.


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dannyboy
post Jan 31 2013, 08:24 PM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Jan 31 2013, 08:10 PM) *
Yes, 100% agree. If Newbury Town Council didn't exist then people would be free to work together as a community to provide for themselves - that was the promise of the Big Society. Problem is that the Town Council franchise is worth £1,000,000 annual revenue and the franchise owners aren't about to let some bunch of community-minded self-reliant plebs knock the bottom out of their scam.

I edited my post - people are people, and the busy bodies always take control.


especially if there is cash to be made.
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Simon Kirby
post Jan 31 2013, 08:33 PM
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QUOTE (spartacus @ Jan 31 2013, 11:23 AM) *
linky thing
I see Thatcham Town Council (which is a glorified Parish Council really) is going to be taking on the future management of the car parks in Thatcham in a bid to return them to FREE parking....

It's a scam that's a number of years old now.

WBC, along with other unitary, borough and county councils, aren't completely free to set their council tax because the government has set limits. Parish councils on the other hand are completely free to levy whatever precept they like on the tax-payer with no limits whatsoever.

That's good news for ambitious self-important parish councils, but they can't simply go ahead and build an empire because there is only a very small number of useful things that a parish council is empowered to do by statute. They can provide allotments, parks, cemetaries, and markets, and because there's virtually no scrutiny whatsoever on what these funny little councils get up to they can employ and army of administrators and clerks and rack-up enormous costs running these "services".

However, the Local Government Act allows the top-tier councils to devolve their powers onto parish councils, and both councils can benefit from this scam. For every power that WBC devloves onto a parish council that's one less thing that WBC has to spend our council tax on, so they can continue being as wasteful as they like and still not get capped by Eric Pickles. The parish councillors get more power and their clerks get an ever bigger administrative empire so they're happy, and they just bung a few grand on the precept and no one even notices.


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dannyboy
post Jan 31 2013, 08:40 PM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Jan 31 2013, 08:33 PM) *
It's a scam that's a number of years old now.

WBC, along with other unitary, borough and county councils, aren't completely free to set their council tax because the government has set limits. Parish councils on the other hand are completely free to levy whatever precept they like on the tax-payer with no limits whatsoever.

That's good news for ambitious self-important parish councils, but they can't simply go ahead and build an empire because there is only a very small number of useful things that a parish council is empowered to do by statute. They can provide allotments, parks, cemetaries, and markets, and because there's virtually no scrutiny whatsoever on what these funny little councils get up to they can employ and army of administrators and clerks and rack-up enormous costs running these "services".

However, the Local Government Act allows the top-tier councils to devolve their powers onto parish councils, and both councils can benefit from this scam. For every power that WBC devloves onto a parish council that's one less thing that WBC has to spend our council tax on, so they can continue being as wasteful as they like and still not get capped by Eric Pickles. The parish councillors get more power and their clerks get an ever bigger administrative empire so they're happy, and they just bung a few grand on the precept and no one even notices.

yes we know.

but what other, cheaper way is there? ( no utopian ideas of the lard arsed proles getting off their behinds & mucking in for free ).
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John C
post Jan 31 2013, 08:45 PM
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With a residents association they would at least live in the area and also have an interest in the area. With Parish and town councils you would probably live near if not in the area so also have an interest in the area. But with the District council they don't have to live in the area, so do not nescasarily have a vested interest in the area, so if the make a bad choice they do not sufer the consequences as much as everybody else. Paying parking fees do not mean the the car park will be maintained or that all the revenue earned will be used to maintain the car park.
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Simon Kirby
post Jan 31 2013, 08:46 PM
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QUOTE (dannyboy @ Jan 31 2013, 08:24 PM) *
I edited my post - people are people, and the busy bodies always take control.


especially if there is cash to be made.

I won't deny it happens, but your cynicism is too much. Some people like working together for the enjoyment of it, not for the power, control, or cash. There are hundreds of thousands of clubs and societies all over the country that are run by volunteers. Yes, they're often run by people who enjoy the responsibility, but that's great isn't? Yes, sometimes busybodies take control, but it's far from inevitable.


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dannyboy
post Jan 31 2013, 08:55 PM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Jan 31 2013, 08:46 PM) *
I won't deny it happens, but your cynicism is too much. Some people like working together for the enjoyment of it, not for the power, control, or cash. There are hundreds of thousands of clubs and societies all over the country that are run by volunteers. Yes, they're often run by people who enjoy the responsibility, but that's great isn't? Yes, sometimes busybodies take control, but it's far from inevitable.


Cynical, yes. Why? A life times experience.

Oh and these clubs, all free?
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Simon Kirby
post Jan 31 2013, 08:57 PM
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QUOTE (dannyboy @ Jan 31 2013, 08:40 PM) *
but what other, cheaper way is there? ( no utopian ideas of the lard arsed proles getting off their behinds & mucking in for free ).

Well the cheapest way to provide a car park would be a for parish council staffed by a part-time clerk to mark out some bays on a bit of tarmac and pay for any maintenance out of the precept. It doesn't get any simpler than that and even the most attention-starved parish councillor can surely not find much in that simple arrangement to fill many items at the quarterly parish council meeting.


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Simon Kirby
post Jan 31 2013, 09:09 PM
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QUOTE (dannyboy @ Jan 31 2013, 08:55 PM) *
Cynical, yes. Why? A life times experience.

Oh and these clubs, all free?

Free, no, not all. Why would they be free?

I played badminton in a league club and the various clubs all had their different character, and different characters, some friendly, some less so, but all well run. If you didn't like something about the club you were perfectly free to join another one, and there was a small but constant drift from one to another, with some clubs becoming popular, and some clubs struggling for members. Natural selection really.

One old couple organised the tournaments and they were more than a little orthoritarian, but the torunaments were organised very, very well.

Of course if you want to see the power of the Big Society at work you should come along and run a Parkrun on Saturday morning on Greenham Common - 0900 start. Free to enter, organised completely by volunteers, completely brilliant.


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dannyboy
post Jan 31 2013, 09:27 PM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Jan 31 2013, 09:09 PM) *
Free, no, not all. Why would they be free?


Of course if you want to see the power of the Big Society at work you should come along and run a Parkrun on Saturday morning on Greenham Common - 0900 start. Free to enter, organised completely by volunteers, completely brilliant.

So not free, and not for profit either. just like a Parish council. or a charity.

I'm a member of a few clubs which are brilliant & not free too. A certain few people get to decide what is done with the cash these clubs raise.

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dannyboy
post Jan 31 2013, 09:28 PM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Jan 31 2013, 08:57 PM) *
Well the cheapest way to provide a car park would be a for parish council staffed by a part-time clerk to mark out some bays on a bit of tarmac and pay for any maintenance out of the precept. It doesn't get any simpler than that and even the most attention-starved parish councillor can surely not find much in that simple arrangement to fill many items at the quarterly parish council meeting.

who's bit of tarmac? Paid for by who?

not that simple.

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Simon Kirby
post Jan 31 2013, 09:47 PM
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QUOTE (dannyboy @ Jan 31 2013, 09:27 PM) *
So not free, and not for profit either. just like a Parish council. or a charity.

No, not like a parish council. If you want to join a tiddlywink leage then that's your choice, and you pay your subs. I wouldn't expect the state to tax every citizen in order to pay an army of local government career administrators to do a p1ss-poor job of organising a tiddlywink leage under the direction of twenty frustrated party-politicians who know zip-all about tiddlywinks.

The charity debate is different.


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