Rural Services could see
unwelcome hike in Council Tax coupled with much reduced services
THE UK's rural residents have been
warned this week that they could be facing an unwelcome hike in Council Tax,
coupled with much reduced services, if the UK Government pushes ahead with a
proposed funding settlement for rural communities; despite an increase in
the Rural Services Delivery Grant. If true, it could hit many areas that are
extremely cash strapped already.
The Rural Services Network, which represents local Councils and other
services providers, issued this warning as it outlined its massive concerns,
as the UK Government prepares to decide how much grant funding to allocate
local authorities, following provisional announcements. If true, most rural
local authorities would be very heavily penalised by a proposed shift in
grant from shire areas to metropolitan areas, said the Network.
Network chief executive Graham Biggs MBE said that already cash strapped
local rural Councils would face the prospect of being forced to increase
Council Tax more than their urban counterparts; and even then having to
undertake swingeing service cuts!
"Proposed changes to the funding formula had been applied unevenly and at
the last minute by the Government and without any forewarning, had the
effect of further penalising rural areas..." said Mr Biggs.
Mr Biggs has added that:- "Yet again, rural areas, which already have
higher Council Tax levels than urban areas and a lower average local income,
will be caned to allow urban areas to maintain more UK UK Government
Mr Biggs said Council Tax was already significantly higher in rural areas
compared to urban because of historic underfunding of rural services by
successive governments. Yet despite this, the current UK Government was
again choosing to favour urban people at the expense of those living in
rural areas. Mr Biggs said it was unthinkable that a UK Government,
which had indicated understanding of the rural situation, was now planning
to further increase the gap in UK Government funding between urban and rural
"The move beggars belief! Cuts in grant have been difficult to live with for
5 years, but they have been similar percentage reductions across rural and
urban areas. Now out of nowhere come proposals that will decimate rural
services while urban areas get a much lesser level of grant reduction. To
compound the situation still further, UK Government ministers assume in
their figures that rural residents will have to pay even more in Council Tax
than their urban counterparts. It is astounding." commented Mr
Rural local authorities have called on the UK Government to reconsider its
proposals before MPs vote on the final settlement in February 2016. The
Rural Services Network agrees with the leader of the County Councils Network
and others who say this proposed settlement if enacted can only produce huge
cutbacks in services in rural areas.
Will this affect your area and what are your views about this proposed shift
in grant from shire areas to metropolitan? Please email or newsroom via:-
News24@SouthportReporter.Com and let us know what you think of
7 defendants where
sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court following publishing scam
A Merseyside man has been sentenced
on Friday, 22 January 2016, for a multi million pound scam, which conned
thousands of family run businesses into paying for advertising in a fake
emergency service magazine.
George Williams and his team of sales reps used contact lists traded with
other fraudsters to pressure small and medium sized business into taking out
adverts in 'Emergency Services News.'
Operating from a rented Office on Dale Street, in Liverpool City Centre,
Williams' company that was called:- 'Weinstein Williams Associates'
cold called people from Plymouth to Scotland and lied to them by
saying that their magazine and website was endorsed by the Police, Fire and
Sales reps working for Williams also lied during their sales pitch by
claiming that the magazine was distributed to all members of the 3 emergency
services throughout the United Kingdom.
Detectives from Merseyside Police's Economic Crime Team, working in
partnership with Trading Standards, were alerted to the scam and established
that to fulfil its promises to customers they would have had to produce 1.2
million copies of the magazine per year. Investigators proved that in fact
Williams' company only produced around 30,000 magazines.
After a 5 year investigation, sparked by Trading Standards and Consumer
Direct spotting a pattern of complaints and contacting Merseyside Police,
George Williams and his operations manager Gayle Leahair were charged with
conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and fraudulent trading.
They denied the offences, but during a 12 week trial, that took place at
Liverpool Crown Court over 2015, a jury found them guilty of both charges. 4
other defendants who were accused of being sales reps and knowingly involved
in the fraud scam, pleaded guilty during the trial and a 5th person, Ronnie
Llloyd, who acted as their sales manager, also pleaded guilty to offences of
counselling and procuring the 4 sales reps to commit their fraudulent sales
show want to find people who are:- "Having an affair!"
A well know UK TV production
company, Curve Media Ltd. Company, in London, is starting a new project that
is looking at relationships in Britain. They was asking for people to come
forward who are:- "Having an affair..." Production team member
Phil said:- "We want your readers to contact us... Maybe they are
married and having an affair... or they are not married, but there lover is?
We are asking your readers to think... Do you want people to understand what
it’s like to be in your situation? To show things are never clear cut?"
Casting Naomi added:-"Perhaps a reader might be willing to contribute
to a sensitive documentary about the state of marriage in Britain today? If
yes and they are over 18, please contact now." For more
information in 'STRICT CONFIDENCE' contact Curve Media:-