Help for families and businesses:
• £10,000 personal allowance. This is a tax cut for 24 million people. Next April the personal allowance will reach £10,000. As a result families will pay £700 less in income tax than they did in 2010. And 2.7 million will have been take out of tax altogether.
• New £2000 Employment Allowance. We will cut the jobs tax of every business, charity and community amateur sports club by £2,000 from 2014. Businesses will be able to hire one extra person on £22,400 pa, or four people working full time on the minimum wage, without paying any National Insurance. And it means 450,000 small businesses, one third of all employers, will pay no jobs tax at all.
• Fuel duty frozen. We are cancelling the fuel duty rise planned for September. Pump prices will now be 13 pence per litre lower than under Labour’s plans. For a Vauxhall Astra or a Ford Focus that is £7 less every time you fill the tank. Fuel duty will have been frozen for nearly three and half years.
• Beer duty cut. Under Labour’s plans beer duty would have risen by 3p a pint this year. Instead after Sunday night we are not only cancelling the 3p rise, but also introducing a further 1 penny cut – saving drinkers 4 pence a pint compared to Labour’s plans.
• Help to Buy. We are allocating over £3.5 billion to support those who want to get on, or move up, the housing ladder. The Government will provide up to 20 per cent of the equity to help anyone who wants to buy a new built home. And for three years from January 2014 we will also provide a new guarantee to help lenders offer more people 80 to 95 per cent loan to value mortgages.
• 20p rate of Corporation Tax. We will cut corporation tax even further: to 20 per cent in April 2015. Under Labour corporate taxes were 28 per cent. Now we have the lowest rate in the G7, and next month it will fall further to 23 per cent. When it reaches 20 per cent in April 2015 we will have the lowest rate in the G20.
• Tax free childcare. From autumn 2015, the government will offer tax free childcare, meeting 20% of childcare costs for working families with children under 12. Once fully implemented it will be worth £1,200 per child, and so will save a typical working family with two children under 12 up to £2,400 a year. 2.5 million families will benefit.
Thats how Wirral Council’s meeting last night may have come across to the packed gallery with Prenton Labour Councillor, Tony Norbury telling Council how he wants to rid the country of Conservatives and Lib Dems wearing his coat of crimson red, to Seacombe Labour Councillor likening Conservative Group Leader to moments that he believed to be Mandy Rice-Davies. Quite what both had to do with the budget process was beyond me and others.
Anyway as predicted the Labour Council rejected both the Conservative and Lib Dem amendment and voted to increase Council Tax by 2% whilst at the same time rejecting a £1.3 million grant from Government, putting £270,000 into its budget so the Council Taxpayer can fund full time union stewards and closing a Day Centre which will hit some of the most vulnerable in our society
One thing is for certain, while I am an elected Member this Labour controlled Council do not, and never will speak in my name!
This morning along with the other 64 elected members, I received an email from the Councils training department asking if I would be interested in attending a Free event in London entitled LGA Hidden Talents conference.
I was absolutely astounded to receive this invitation it may be a free event but the costs of travel for each member would be in the region of £150, thats assumimg they travel there and back on the same day and there is no overnight accommodation costs!
I find it incredible that at a time when the Labour controlled Council is cutting services to some of the most vulnerable people in our society that it is prepared to potentially shell out thousands of pounds on rail travel for elected Members. I have written to the Chief Executive via email this morning expressing my concerns and requesting he takes immediate action to get this situation under control.
Copy of the email below:
From: “councillorstraining” <email@example.com>
Date: 25 February 2013 09:21:45 GMT
Cc: “Holt, Melissa F.” Kelly, Dawn P.”
Subject: FW: LGA Hidden talents conference – Friday 26 April 2013
Please see below email regarding a free event in London on 26th April.
If you are interested please complete the attached booking form and return to firstname.lastname@example.org
|FREE LGA Hidden talents conference
Friday 26 April 2013
Who should attend?
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>Lead members and Senior officers for Economic development and Regeneration
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>Lead members and Senior officers for Children and Youth services
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>Lead members and Senior officers for Employment and Skills
For details of all Local Government Association events, please go to www.local.gov.uk/events
Bringing together a range of Government, council and partner speakers, this conference will explore how local authorities and their partners can continue to deliver better outcomes for young people, and what government should do to enable this.
Reducing youth disengagement is a priority for local government. There is a lot to be positive about. Councils, colleges, employers and national agencies are developing new models that have real impact on young people by joining up and targeting services. But youth disengagement remains too high and long-term youth unemployment has doubled since 2008 to 260,000.
At this event we would discuss:
• How can we, and Government, better join-up all services locally to meet the needs of those young people with the most complex barriers to work and learning?
• Are we equipping young people well enough for the world of work? And how can we give them the skills and experience most likely to lead to sustained employment?
• What can we do, and what can Government do, to improve the Jobcentre Plus and Work Programme support for young people in the local labour market?
This is a “FREE to attend” conference for LGA Member authorities.
To book your place, please complete the online booking form here.
Next Wednesday 27th February sees the latest Moreton, Leasowe and Saughall Massie Area Forum being held. It starts at 6:30pm and is being held at Moreton Community Centre, in Maryland Lane. You can read the agenda by clicking HERE
As the Chair of the Forum I have asked for updates to be given on two of the Council services that are under threat of closure, Moreton Youth Club and the Moreton Adult Traing Centre. I would urge as many people as possible to come along and have your say.
Sadly this may be the very last Area Forum as the Labour controlled Council want to abolish them and remove the ability for local people to make their views known about what goes on in their communities and to distribute funding at a loval level. Personally I think this is another shameful approach by Labour who wish to have total control.
I hope to see lots of people for what promises to be a memorable evening
Phil Davies Leader of the Council has issued a press statement trying to reassure clients, their parents and carers who use the Day Centres that there will be no loss of service and when a centre is closed those displaced people can travel to one of the others!
I have to say this shows what a complete and utter lack of understanding he has for these vulnerable people and their families. Does he not realise that users of the service see these day centrs as safe places, places where they can socialise, places where they can work and go out into the community. Moreton is one such place andi am sure that Heswall and Eastham are the same!
Message to Councillor Davies: “This is not about bricks and mortar, this is not about Council assets this is about vulnerable people who simply want to be left in peace to go about there daily routine in a safe and secure environment” It really is time that Labour started to accept that, and do a massive U turn on this thoughtless and senseless and utterley unacceptable decision! No amount of spinning to the press will make this go away!
Like many angry people at the meeting I was shocked and disgusted to see that Labour proposed the closure of an Adult Training Centre which serves adults with disabilities and learning needs to save £750,000,It would appear that an enhanced redundancy package which will cost a further £3 million and protecting £270, 000 to pay for full time Union stewards is more important to Labour in Wirral! While I have signed petitions and have supported the Friends of the dog kennels, it does seem a little perverse that the Cabinet sees that project as more important than Day Centres!
The Cabinet also rejected a £1.3 million grant from central Government to freeze Council tax, and instead have chosen to increase Council tax by 2% putting an even greated burden on families who are already feeling the pinch. And the £1 million they are investing in a youth zone, well thats going to Birkenhead, well with six Cabinet members representing Birkenhead wards what else could we expect. So while Youth Clubs across the Borough close a nice shiny million pound one opens up in Birkenhead. I very much doubt Labour can spell the word fair let alone understand it.
The Council Leader Phil Davies seemed very apologetic that the Council could not continue to sponsor Tranmere Rovers, sadly I did not hear any apology for shutting a Day Centre! All in all a typical Labour budget hit the vulnerable but look after their own. Shows exactly what Wirral Labours priorities are. Clearly Labour in Wirral are shameless!
Last week was a mixed bag with Council last Monday, the usual ‘Punch and Judy’ politics with the controlling Labour Group moving Notices of Motion for which the Council has no control over just using the process to attack the Government, no change there then. Its quite sad that they would rather attack the coalition than doing something worthwhile for the people of Wirral!
Lots of concerns raised during the week as had been the week before about the amount of activity and the huge amount of Morgan vehicles accessing and egressing the old brickworks site, using both the Birkenhead Road and the Carr Lane access points leaving behind them a muddy mess, clearly although planning conditions say that all vehicles have to use a wheel wash when leavng site they obviously are’nt.
Last but by no means least on Friday along with my colleague, Cllr Ian Lewis I attended a meeting at Moreton Adult Day Centre to meet with and hear the concerns of parents, carers and students who are worried about the Council closing the centre. I have assured them that along with my colleagues we would oppose any attempts to close any of the three large day centres. for more info click here