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> Community Representation for Openness & Fair Treatment, destruction of London Road industrial estate
Andy Capp
post Jun 7 2015, 09:41 PM
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"The Council has since announced that it won't make any profit itself, although its development partner will."

Where have we seen this before? tongue.gif

http://www.croft-newbury.org/
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blackdog
post Jun 7 2015, 10:43 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Jun 7 2015, 10:41 PM) *
"The Council has since announced that it won't make any profit itself, although its development partner will."

Where have we seen this before? tongue.gif

http://www.croft-newbury.org/


It isn't the council's job to make profits, and a developer would not get involved without a profit - so it's hardly a surprising announcement.

What I'd like more information on is the council's income before and after - as I see it they currently get £300,000 a year rent and probably no council tax. No doubt there are administration and maintenance costs but it seems that there is a good sum coming in and saving us a few quid a year each on our council tax.

After the development they will get a fair chunk of council tax - but will have to provide services in return for it. How much rent will they get?

Or will they give the land away as per the Market Street and Parkway developments?
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On the edge
post Jun 8 2015, 03:04 PM
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This is where the disillusion sets in and that drives the utter contempt many people have for local politicians. We've just had an election, this is a major and significant part of Newbury, was it even mentioned?

Really sad and quite contemptible. Ironically, a good few people, I'd even hazard a good majority would wholly agree that the area round there could be redeveloped and it could be made into quite an attractive area. Similarly, with with a bit of thought, the opportunity could be taken to sensibly sort the traffic problem. Sure, some will object and some won't like the design and some won't like the cost BUT if they felt part of the decision process and felt they'd been able to contribute - the Council might just get some credit.

All it takes is real publication of the District vision and some real on going consultation. Not just a reference stuffed at the back of a busy web site and a chat in the town hall in the middle of a working day. It speaks volumes that even that didn't happen this time and the Council Executive (not even Councillors mind) needed to be shown the rubber gloves before even minimal attention was paid.

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MontyPython
post Jun 8 2015, 03:28 PM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Jun 7 2015, 11:43 PM) *
It isn't the council's job to make profits, and a developer would not get involved without a profit - so it's hardly a surprising announcement.

What I'd like more information on is the council's income before and after - as I see it they currently get £300,000 a year rent and probably no council tax. No doubt there are administration and maintenance costs but it seems that there is a good sum coming in and saving us a few quid a year each on our council tax.

After the development they will get a fair chunk of council tax - but will have to provide services in return for it. How much rent will they get?

Or will they give the land away as per the Market Street and Parkway developments?


So the Council shouldn't make profit from Council or Public Owned land, but if someone wants to put a few houses on their own land the council wants to come money grabbing with S106 charges. What a strange approach.
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On the edge
post Jun 8 2015, 04:40 PM
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I always love the 'we aren't making a profit on this' suggestion! Just like the 'free gifts' insurance companies give you or the wonderful 'rewards' you get from your local supermarket....I wonder who gets to eat this free lunch....


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blackdog
post Jun 8 2015, 07:32 PM
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It doesn't need to be about a profit, I can live with the council using its assets to promote sensible development - what I don't like is the freedom with which they give away the assets for no financial return - in effect giving away a regular income. What, for instance, has happened to the £300k a year WBC told us they would be getting from the Parkway car parking? We are subsidising Parkway to the tune of £300k a year and the affordable housing is still sitting empty - WBC have been screwed at every turn by the developers - why should we expect things to be any better with Market Street or Faraday Road?
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On the edge
post Jun 8 2015, 09:11 PM
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Call it what you will, simply to use an asset for no return is really quite wicked. That's more than just waste. After all, land assets could be sold and the money simply saved in a bank, even at today's rates that's better than a two finger salute from the developer.


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user23
post Jun 8 2015, 09:16 PM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Jun 8 2015, 08:32 PM) *
It doesn't need to be about a profit, I can live with the council using its assets to promote sensible development - what I don't like is the freedom with which they give away the assets for no financial return
Will they not receive Council Tax from residential properties in the development?
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blackdog
post Jun 8 2015, 10:08 PM
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QUOTE (user23 @ Jun 8 2015, 10:16 PM) *
Will they not receive Council Tax from residential properties in the development?

Are you suggesting they make a profit from council tax? Council tax is determined on the basis of the costs of services it is to help pay for. New houses result in additional costs - it may look like an increase in WBC income, but it only pays for 70% or so of the costs incurred in running the council activities. Unless they get an increase in Government grant (now Osborne's hands have been freed I can't see that happening) extra homes simply mean extra costs to be born within the same WBC budget.
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user23
post Jun 8 2015, 10:25 PM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Jun 8 2015, 11:08 PM) *
Are you suggesting they make a profit from council tax? Council tax is determined on the basis of the costs of services it is to help pay for. New houses result in additional costs - it may look like an increase in WBC income, but it only pays for 70% or so of the costs incurred in running the council activities. Unless they get an increase in Government grant (now Osborne's hands have been freed I can't see that happening) extra homes simply mean extra costs to be born within the same WBC budget.
No, not profit, you said there was no financial return.

I'm asking, will they receive Council Tax from the residential properties in the development?

If so, isn't this financial return?
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Lolly
post Jun 8 2015, 10:31 PM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Jun 8 2015, 11:08 PM) *
Are you suggesting they make a profit from council tax? Council tax is determined on the basis of the costs of services it is to help pay for. New houses result in additional costs - it may look like an increase in WBC income, but it only pays for 70% or so of the costs incurred in running the council activities. Unless they get an increase in Government grant (now Osborne's hands have been freed I can't see that happening) extra homes simply mean extra costs to be born within the same WBC budget.


Is the New Homes Bonus still running? Can't remember the details exactly but I think it was a central government scheme to incentivise Councils to allow building, although if the figures you have quoted regarding Council Tax are correct then it probably wasn't such a good deal - a short term fix with long term consequences, especially if services are near or at full capacity.





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Andy Capp
post Jun 8 2015, 10:39 PM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Jun 8 2015, 11:08 PM) *
Are you suggesting they make a profit from council tax? Council tax is determined on the basis of the costs of services it is to help pay for. New houses result in additional costs - it may look like an increase in WBC income, but it only pays for 70% or so of the costs incurred in running the council activities. Unless they get an increase in Government grant (now Osborne's hands have been freed I can't see that happening) extra homes simply mean extra costs to be born within the same WBC budget.

QUOTE (user23 @ Jun 8 2015, 11:25 PM) *
No, not profit, you said there was no financial return. I'm asking, will they receive Council Tax from the residential properties in the development? If so, isn't this financial return?

I think user23's tucked you up there blackdog! tongue.gif
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MontyPython
post Jun 8 2015, 11:44 PM
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QUOTE (user23 @ Jun 8 2015, 11:25 PM) *
No, not profit, you said there was no financial return.

I'm asking, will they receive Council Tax from the residential properties in the development?

If so, isn't this financial return?


Helps to pay those bonus payments to certain WBC employees doesn't it User23 rolleyes.gif
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On the edge
post Jun 9 2015, 06:06 AM
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QUOTE (user23 @ Jun 8 2015, 11:25 PM) *
No, not profit, you said there was no financial return.

I'm asking, will they receive Council Tax from the residential properties in the development?

If so, isn't this financial return?


Oooh good! I've been wanting to buy some spare land near my house for ages to put a garage on it. More than happy to pay the Council Tax, didn't realise I don't have to pay for the land. Do you know what department hands over the deeds?


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Andy Capp
post Jun 9 2015, 08:03 AM
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How is it that land in the town centre is worthless?
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blackdog
post Jun 9 2015, 09:55 AM
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QUOTE (user23 @ Jun 8 2015, 11:25 PM) *
No, not profit, you said there was no financial return.

I'm asking, will they receive Council Tax from the residential properties in the development?

If so, isn't this financial return?


Okay, fair point, there is a financial return - I guess there is always a financial return, even if it's negative. And Lolly is also right , there is a New Homes Bonus paid by Government (ie the taxpayers) for 6 years.

But even with the bonus the annual income above expenditure - which is what I meant when I referred to a financial return - could well be less than the current income from rent. When the bonus ends the income will be lower than the expenditure.

The fact is that Council Tax only pays for 70% of WBC expenditure, so any new homes cost the council money overall - unless Government grants are increased permanently (not just for 6 years). This is the norm, it is to be expected - it happens on any development - including ones where the council does not give up land that is currently earning it £300k a year.

Is it really worth surrendering £300k a year to make a developer a bigger profit?

And User - perhaps you'd like to give your take on WBC's track record on such developments - the lack of the promised income from the Parkway car parking and the empty social housing?
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Lolly
post Jun 10 2015, 11:33 AM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Jun 9 2015, 10:55 AM) *
Okay, fair point, there is a financial return - I guess there is always a financial return, even if it's negative. And Lolly is also right , there is a New Homes Bonus paid by Government (ie the taxpayers) for 6 years.

But even with the bonus the annual income above expenditure - which is what I meant when I referred to a financial return - could well be less than the current income from rent. When the bonus ends the income will be lower than the expenditure.

The fact is that Council Tax only pays for 70% of WBC expenditure, so any new homes cost the council money overall - unless Government grants are increased permanently (not just for 6 years). This is the norm, it is to be expected - it happens on any development - including ones where the council does not give up land that is currently earning it £300k a year.

Is it really worth surrendering £300k a year to make a developer a bigger profit?



And User - perhaps you'd like to give your take on WBC's track record on such developments - the lack of the promised income from the Parkway car parking and the empty social housing?


Is the £300k just rent or does it include business rates as well? Do you have a link to the feasibility study or is it deemed commercially sensitive? And does anybody know how the land (or the majority of it) came to be owned by the Council in the first place? There could well be restrictive covenants on its use, as I would have hoped there are (or were) on Victoria Park.
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blackdog
post Jun 10 2015, 05:04 PM
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QUOTE (Lolly @ Jun 10 2015, 12:33 PM) *
Is the £300k just rent or does it include business rates as well? Do you have a link to the feasibility study or is it deemed commercially sensitive? And does anybody know how the land (or the majority of it) came to be owned by the Council in the first place? There could well be restrictive covenants on its use, as I would have hoped there are (or were) on Victoria Park.

The £300k comes from the link in the first post and is stated to be rent - it won't include business rates because business rates don't go to WBC (they just collect them on behalf of the Treasury).

Most of the land was probably part of the original Victoria Park or The Marsh as it was known - the Borough will have purchased it at some point. In days gone by the safest, almost the only, form of investment for public bodies was land. The Borough owned an awful lot of Newbury - which WBC is steadily giving away to developers.
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blackdog
post Jun 10 2015, 05:08 PM
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When I say it comes from the link in the first post it is not so clear. It is the document obtained by CROFT via an FOI request - as I found on their website. Here (I hope) is the direct link:

http://nebula.wsimg.com/afd8ff37597fca267d...p;alloworigin=1
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Lolly
post Jun 11 2015, 08:41 PM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Jun 10 2015, 06:08 PM) *
When I say it comes from the link in the first post it is not so clear. It is the document obtained by CROFT via an FOI request - as I found on their website. Here (I hope) is the direct link:

http://nebula.wsimg.com/afd8ff37597fca267d...p;alloworigin=1


Thanks. Presume you've read it as the £300k is towards the end. Is it just me or is it rather lacking in detail? And have I read it right that the Council is deliberately trying to bypass the competitive tendering rules?
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