Update: 5 February 2016


Update: 5 February 2016

By Friday morning we had over 270 responses.

Thank you to everyone who took the trouble to have their say.  There are 10 days left to respond.

Your Questions this week:

'If 1.94% is for a Band D property how much are the other Bands paying and will it be shared out proportionately?

  • It is proportionately shared out.  A band A property pays 6/9ths of band D and a band H property pays 16/9ths of band D.

'A 1% increase would replace the missing government grant if you say that is the equivalent of what you have been receiving since 2010.  Why are you suggesting an increase of nearly twice that?'

  • There are two grants here.  The government gave local authorities a top-up grant of 1% equivalent of Council Tax if they did not increase their Council Tax.  The Government stopped offering that amount for 2016. 
  • However, the Government has funded local authorities through a revenue support grant.  Back in 2010 it was more than £3million and by this year, 2015/16,  it was 1.87 million.  The Government is cutting that grant by £800,000 in April 2016.  The 1.9% increase to Council Tax will not raise £800,000.  It will raise £115,000.   Further, the Government said it will cut the grant by another £1million in 2017/18. 
  • At the same time, there is inflation, rising costs and other factors that mean we had to save £4.6million since 2011 and will have to save another £3million by 2020.

'Make shops rents in Bexhill lower so shops can stay in business, empty shops dont give a good advert for town.'

Sorry, but we don't own the shops in Bexhill or control their rents.  They are privately owned.  Other than the Town Hall buildings and public conveniences, the Council owns very little in Bexhill town centre.  We do work with Bexhill Town Team to regenerate the town centre.

[comments on parking in Bexhill] 'I would like to see parking charges brought into force.'

On-street parking is enforced by Sussex Police.  If on-street parking is decriminalised, East Sussex County Council would enforce parking regulations because they have responsibility for highways.

If charges are put on to the free parking on-street in Bexhill, or anywhere else in Rother, then the money would go to East Sussex County Council.  It would have no effect on Rother District Council's revenue budget.

Public consultation on the Bexhill Town Centre Strategy made it clear that local residents value the amount of free on-street parking as a feature that encourages visitors to Bexhill and supports the local economy. 

'Litter fines and dog fouling, can these be law enforced to bring in much needed money?'

The Council can issue on-the-spot notices to pay if the enforcement staff see someone breaking the bylaws.  That money does go to the Council.   Fines are through the courts and the money is collected by them.  It doesn't go to councils. The notices don't cover the costs of providing environmental enforcement staff and increasing the notices we give out would still not make enough difference for the service to break-even.  We have fewer staff now and, as a result, we have to prioritise on the biggest problem areas. 

'.... With an election due in May, I would ask the Council to consider the amount of money waste on elections and seriously think where money could be saved in this area.  It is very frustrating to have services cut and then here how much has been spent on an election.  In view of the poor turn-out for the first Police and Crime Commissioner election, why is this next one not being run alongside another election in order to save money? ....'

This is a statutory service and the Council has to run the election.  In Rother the PCC election will not be run alongside another election but that is not the case in other areas.  In Hastings, they are electing some of their district councillors in some wards.  Elections vary each year because the terms of office of different elected representatives last for different amounts of time.  The Council has no control over that.  Turnout is not a factor; voters have the democratic right to vote and plans must be made to ensure they can vote if they choose to.  Removing one election, or rescheduling it to coincide with another, would make no difference to the Council's revenue budget.  We still would have to have the capacity to provide electoral registration, prepare the annual electoral roll and organise an election most years.  Also, the costs of holding the election on the day are met by the Government.

Please note that some quotes were larger but have been edited to cover the question asked.  No other editing has been made and, as always, these are parts of real submissions.


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