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Don't blame councillors for cuts, Newbury MP says

"The burden does not lie with them," Richard Benyon says

CUTS and council tax rises hitting West Berkshire residents are only a temporary measure until business rates can be retained locally, says Newbury’s MP.

Richard Benyon made the claim at a public meeting held in Thatcham last week when he was asked what influence he had to reverse district councillors’ decision to cut services and charge residents more tax. 

“I don’t feel they need influencing at all,” Mr Benyon said. “Not a single councilor wants to implement any of these cuts.

“They feel affronted that they are in a position to have to make cuts to vulnerable people and put up council tax.

“They kept it frozen for years; that goes against their DNA.

“The burden does not lie with them. They have managed it as well as they possibly can.

“This is a temporary hiatus. When we are allowed to fund this from business rates, they will be able to fund local services practically easier and restore some of the funding they have had to cut.

“Blame me, don’t blame them. We will crack this and it will be okay.”

Mr Benyon said that West Berkshire Council kept only 21 per cent of its business rates and that a bureaucratic move had meant that rates from Vodafone and AWE were being sent elsewhere. 

The MP also said that discussions were being held over the shape of the six local authorities in Berkshire as to how they could ride out the funding crisis.

“I think our local authority area is too small for the services it should be providing,” he said.  

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Article comments

  • d1sta


    22/03/2017 - 09:09

    afther thought but re -reading this its a great word BLAME what does anyone get from blame as this clever fox knows nothing, it dont change the system wont change just hold that picture can you of Benyon having lunch with Cameron, laughing and Joking with his old Pal .. yeh and then remember how we are played out for and against with emphatic words of Blame - yeh blame me u can but what u gonna do about it- yep nothing and me and my pals we know this OK - it needs new people and new younger ideas for this town to prosper once again and out with the old stuff


  • hgv1driver


    14/03/2017 - 23:11

    I blame you and WBC your both as bad as each other i am finding Newbury falling apart, the roads are still dreadful i reported potholes last year the same ones are here again there is a lot of dead wood we need some new ideas


    • d1sta


      22/03/2017 - 08:08

      yep it really is a total fiasco this town these days everyone has an opinion but no one will fix it - same old same as yeh dont worry we gonna sort this in the future .. yardy yardy yardy


  • NWNThatcham

    14/03/2017 - 20:08

    Richard, you and your Brexit chums are going to.impoverish us all for decades to come. Yes, we do.blame you.


  • Bombey

    13/03/2017 - 16:04

    Maybe if we all paid a bit more tax....there would be more cash to spend....just a thought...


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