SIR, — St Albans District Councillor Tony Swendell in his letter to you (Herts Advertiser, January 24) once more hits the nail on the head. Redbourn residents should not have to pay £7,500 for police services in the village when we already pay for this in
SIR, - St Albans District Councillor Tony Swendell in his letter to you (Herts Advertiser, January 24) once more hits the nail on the head. Redbourn residents should not have to pay £7,500 for police services in the village when we already pay for this in three ways.
With the formation of the district council, our rates shot up 50 per cent. A fact not generally recognised is that today, our council tax in Redbourn exceeds that paid by residents of St Albans.
Redbourn Parish Council does an excellent job and this is by no means a criticism of this council, but it is time for care in budgeting. I am fortunate to have a part-time job, but as a pensioner I am conscious of how even parish council tax escalates generally in excess of inflation year on year.
Admittedly, this is only a small element of the overall council tax paid, but in the period 1997/98 to 2007/08, the parish precept rose 48.7 per cent as opposed to a rise of 31.3 per cent in the Retail Price Index (RPI). A further six per cent increase in the parish precept is now proposed, which in itself exceeds RPI by two per cent.
To add a further 6.26 per cent on top of this to pay for half a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) would be adding insult to injury and set a very dangerous precedent.
Restraint and common sense should be the order of the day, especially when the budget for the parish-centre project is undetermined.
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Ben Austins, Redbourn.