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> NTC Services, Your chance to choose
What NTC spending would you retain and what would you save?
Ceremonial and Civic Spending - £100k - Keep it?
Yes, I want NTC to spend £100k on the Ceremonial Mayor and all of the other civic flummery that it currently provides. [ 6 ] ** [35.29%]
I'm happy to pay the tax, but I want the £100k of spending on ceremonial niff-naff to go towards supporting more deserving services. [ 7 ] ** [41.18%]
No, I just want to pay less tax and I don't give a rat's **** for other services. [ 4 ] ** [23.53%]
Town Hall - £100k - Keep it?
Yes, I want NTC to spend £100k in order to home itself in the Town Hall. [ 7 ] ** [41.18%]
I'm happy to pay the tax, but I want the Town Council to find much cheaper office accomodation and put the residue of the £100k of spending towwards more deserving services. [ 6 ] ** [35.29%]
No, I just want to pay less tax and I don't give a rat's **** for other services. [ 4 ] ** [23.53%]
Allotments - £50k - Keep the management in-house?
Yes, I want NTC to spend £50k directly managing the allotment service. [ 6 ] ** [35.29%]
I'm happy to be taxed, but so long as the quality of the service doesn't get worse and the rents don't go up I want NTC to devolve the management of the allotment service onto the allotmenteers and put the saving towards more deserving services. [ 6 ] ** [35.29%]
No, I just want to pay less tax and I don't give a rat's **** for other services. [ 5 ] ** [29.41%]
Charter Market - £15k - Keep it?
Yes, I want NTC to spend £15k providing the Charter Market. [ 6 ] ** [35.29%]
I'm happy to be taxed, but there are shops already and I don't want my tax spent on a moribund market, so see if a private operator will make a going concern out of it, but eaither way the Town Council should drop it and put the money towards more deserving services. [ 7 ] ** [41.18%]
No, I just want to pay less tax and I don't give a rat's **** for other services. [ 4 ] ** [23.53%]
The Zero Option - £500k
I'm happy for the Town Council to spend public money on vanity projects and assorted other busy-work, so just let them carry on as they are. [ 6 ] ** [35.29%]
I'm happy to be taxed, but I don't want a behamoth Town Council, I just want a modest little parish council to deliver nothing more than the grounds maintenance on the parks and open spaces and I want half of their £1,000,000 precept to go towards more deserving services delivered by WBC. [ 8 ] ** [47.06%]
I just want to pay less tax and I don't give a rat's **** for other services, so just half the precept and let me keep my tax. [ 3 ] ** [17.65%]
Total Votes: 17
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Simon Kirby
post Mar 8 2016, 06:06 PM
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We've done this before I think, but money wasn't quite so tight then and WBC weren't cutting services, so here's another opportunity to vote on what NTC spending you would retain, and what you would cull.


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newres
post Mar 8 2016, 07:20 PM
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Hmmm, the questions are loaded and say more about you than anything else.
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Simon Kirby
post Mar 8 2016, 08:40 PM
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QUOTE (newres @ Mar 8 2016, 07:20 PM) *
Hmmm, the questions are loaded and say more about you than anything else.

You're free to ask your own questions.


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Andy Capp
post Mar 9 2016, 12:26 AM
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QUOTE (newres @ Mar 8 2016, 07:20 PM) *
Hmmm, the questions are loaded and say more about you than anything else.

I thought the same about your answers! tongue.gif
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Cognosco
post Mar 9 2016, 11:45 AM
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QUOTE (newres @ Mar 8 2016, 07:20 PM) *
Hmmm, the questions are loaded and say more about you than anything else.


Yes he must be copying our two local authorities, whenever a consultation or questionnaire is promoted it is designed to ensure the correct answer the Council requires is obtained! rolleyes.gif


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Simon Kirby
post Mar 9 2016, 07:59 PM
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Small numbers of course, but some strong support for the Town Council just carrying on as it is. It would be good to get some insight into why people would feel like that.


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Andy Capp
post Mar 9 2016, 08:05 PM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Mar 9 2016, 07:59 PM) *
Small numbers of course, but some strong support for the Town Council just carrying on as it is. It would be good to get some insight into why people would feel like that.

Because the poll requires no authentication and it is is easy to vote more than once? Ooops, yes it does require authentication. Or people resent your anti-council stance, or there are friends in the council, or people simply think it is money well spent.
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Cognosco
post Mar 9 2016, 08:32 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Mar 9 2016, 08:05 PM) *
Because the poll requires no authentication and it is is easy to vote more than once? Ooops, yes it does require authentication. Or people resent your anti-council stance, or there are friends in the council, or people simply think it is money well spent.


Cynical me but perhaps the Council do read this forum after all and the staff are following the whip? cool.gif


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Simon Kirby
post Mar 9 2016, 09:00 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Mar 9 2016, 08:05 PM) *
Because ... people resent your anti-council stance, or there are friends in the council, or people simply think it is money well spent.

I agree that it's going to be a combination of those things, but for people who genuinely believe it's money well spent I think it would be insightful to understand why, or whether it's just a reluctance to see any kind of radical change.


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Andy Capp
post Mar 10 2016, 12:19 AM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Mar 9 2016, 09:00 PM) *
I agree that it's going to be a combination of those things, but for people who genuinely believe it's money well spent I think it would be insightful to understand why, or whether it's just a reluctance to see any kind of radical change.

I'm not sure one can expect a rational reason, especially as many people vote emotionally. I find it hard to think that people believe a bit of local pagentarry is more worthwhile than that money being spent on the disadvantaged.
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Simon Kirby
post Mar 10 2016, 07:45 AM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Mar 10 2016, 12:19 AM) *
I'm not sure one can expect a rational reason, especially as many people vote emotionally. I find it hard to think that people believe a bit of local pagentarry is more worthwhile than that money being spent on the disadvantaged.

And that's what I'd like the insight into because I woudn't be overly surprised to find that a majority of comfortably off Newbury folk who don't themselves depend on social services would support spending on mayors and town halls over social services for no better reason than it being the way things are, and I'd really like to understand that. The politically engaged of all persuasions don't want to cut the flummery and busy-work because their vanity demands an empire to oversee, and for others who are campaigning against the cuts they depend on the patronage of the establishment so they won't criticise it too openly for fear of being kicked off the gravy train themselved, but I suspect for a majority it really just comes down to an unquestioning deference.to the establishment.


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On the edge
post Mar 10 2016, 08:12 AM
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I'd hazard a guess that part of the issue is the residue if our Imperial past that still hasn't worked through. There are still a good few still living who celebrated Empire Day at school and so respect for pageantry, monumental architecture and the like is in their DNA. It's seen as the manifestation that 'Britain is Great'. It's institutionalised in our national approach, so we still have an aristocratic House of Lords, awards that laud Empire, and so on. Perpetuated because unlike other nation states with a similar heritage, we've always let new thrusters buy their way in - what CEO can resist his K.

Generally, 'the top draw' pays for its own dress of course. That's where today the system starts to break. At the lowest level, where the most servile servants are rewarded with the bauble of a minor office, they can't afford the mothballs.


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je suis Charlie
post Mar 10 2016, 09:00 AM
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I just love the smell of Ermine in the morning, it smells like victory!
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On the edge
post Mar 10 2016, 11:56 AM
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QUOTE (je suis Charlie @ Mar 10 2016, 09:00 AM) *
I just love the smell of Ermine in the morning, it smells like victory!


I'm glad you do, now put the robe back in his wardrobe, you've got the boots to do before you lay the fires..


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On the edge
post Mar 10 2016, 12:04 PM
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Most Towns in the UK have an amount of civic regalia. Some of it is very old and valuable; going back to the Town's incorporation. However, this stuff has something in common - it was given by benefactors, sometimes even the office holders themselves. It certainly wasn't paid for by a levy on either freemen or peasants.


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blackdog
post Mar 10 2016, 08:21 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Mar 10 2016, 12:04 PM) *
Most Towns in the UK have an amount of civic regalia. Some of it is very old and valuable; going back to the Town's incorporation. However, this stuff has something in common - it was given by benefactors, sometimes even the office holders themselves. It certainly wasn't paid for by a levy on either freemen or peasants.


Newbury's regalia was also donated to the Council by benefactors.

Civic ceremonial is a different issue - I suspect that most towns fund such activities from the parish precept or council tax (where the town is also the unitary authority).
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On the edge
post Mar 10 2016, 08:51 PM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Mar 10 2016, 08:21 PM) *
Newbury's regalia was also donated to the Council by benefactors.

Civic ceremonial is a different issue - I suspect that most towns fund such activities from the parish precept or council tax (where the town is also the unitary authority).

What about the hats and robes? I know the legal people pay for their own. Doesn't seem unreasonable to me, if they really do want to dress up. It's pretty outmoded though and in reality, in full public display once or twice a year at that, so public demand' doesn't hold good really.


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je suis Charlie
post Mar 11 2016, 12:23 AM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Mar 10 2016, 11:56 AM) *
I'm glad you do, now put the robe back in his wardrobe, you've got the boots to do before you lay the fires..

Yea m'lord! Can I lick the Bentley now Sir?
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Simon Kirby
post Mar 11 2016, 08:22 AM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Mar 10 2016, 08:21 PM) *
Newbury's regalia was also donated to the Council by benefactors.

Civic ceremonial is a different issue - I suspect that most towns fund such activities from the parish precept or council tax (where the town is also the unitary authority).

Lets's get this right shall we: Newbury Town Council spends tax-payers' money on fox-furred robes and baubles, with a total spending on ceremonial civic pomp of some 12% of everything the council does, some £110,000 annually - all purely ceremonial, serving nothing but the vanity and pride of the council and its councillors, and all the while important social services are closing which that money could instead pay for without a penny's extra burden falling on the tax-payer.


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blackdog
post Mar 11 2016, 10:34 AM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Mar 11 2016, 08:22 AM) *
Lets's get this right shall we: Newbury Town Council spends tax-payers' money on fox-furred robes and baubles, with a total spending on ceremonial civic pomp of some 12% of everything the council does, some £110,000 annually - all purely ceremonial, serving nothing but the vanity and pride of the council and its councillors, and all the while important social services are closing which that money could instead pay for without a penny's extra burden falling on the tax-payer.


Yes, let's get this right:

£1,000 budgeted for robes this coming year, nothing on baubles.

They employ one person part time to manage the civic pomp and make use of other admin staff as needed.

They spend money on events (eg Remembrance Day parade and service, the carnival every other year) and various activities (grants, twin town, Newbury in Bloom, Watership Brass, etc.) The budget items I would question most are £3k 'Honorarium' (what for?) and £2.5k Mayor's Allowance - past spend, £34 (15/16 to Jan) and £213 (14/15).

This year they budgeted just under £17k (excluding staff costs) and, by January had spent just over half that so an underspend looks likely. For 2016/17 they are budgeting £38k for staff costs, £15k for expenditure - a total of £53k.

So you are suggesting a £110k a year saving from a budget of £53k?

Perhaps you need to stop inventing figures and use the ones provided by the council, they are a lot better detailed these days.

Nevertheless, cutting £110k from NTC spend would save Newbury precept payers a few quid (roughly £9) each a year, I'm sure many of them would welcome that, but it would make no difference to WBC's cuts. The important social services would still be cut. You know very well that the two budgets are not interrelated in the manner you imply.

You are simply using the WBC cuts to pursue your vendetta against the Town Council.



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