Friday, 10 January 2014

Borrowing - the true story

For reasons best known to him Thorpe Independent Party member Ron Woodley has recently circulated two versions of a leaflet. The first purported to be issued on behalf of the Conservatives, included a number of misleading items and gave no clear indication that it was in fact an Independent publication. I assume following wide spread criticism he then appears to have changed it in to the third person and has arranged to have it printed and distributed across parts of West Leigh. The Independent Party and UKIP have previously announced their intention to cooperate but their is no suggestion that the leaflet is issued with the consent of the UKIP candidate. If not then I can only question why an Independent councillor from Thorpe Bay should feel it appropriate to distribute a leaflet attempting to effect the outcome of a by election in West Leigh and trust that he has given careful consideration to his legal position. I will comment on some of the relevant nonsense in due course but must correct the misinformation given on borrowing. Putting to one side that the Independents have not specifically opposed any of the schemes funded in whole or part by borrowing his figures are simply wrong. He suggests borrowing of £289M at a cost this year of £19.1M being 31% of council tax payments. In fact ignoring the Housing Revenue Account which is entirely separate and funded from council house income the debt stands at £157.3M. The borrowing costs for 13/14 are £15.3M which is 3.8% of the Council's gross income of £406M. This figure also excludes the HRA income. It is the equivalent of a family with an income of £30,000 having a liability of under £100 per month. The question is does he know the correct position and is he just trying to fool residents or does he actually believe that it is true?

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