THE TUV group on Mid & East Antrim Borough Council have issued a statement about “value for money for ratepayers”.
A joint statement to ‘Ballymena Daily’ by TUV councillors Timothy Gaston, Matthew Armstrong, Brian Colins, Chrissy Jamieson and Alderman Stewart McDonald said:
“It has now become a regular feature of the rates process that other parties and their councillors make it their mission to take issue with each and every suggestion TUV put forward.
“We would remind them all that our job has always been to provide best value for money for ALL ratepayers and we are delighted to have delivered on two of our key issues raised last year, namely a reduction in the cost in issuing the Connections magazine and a 25% reduction in the members’ hospitality budget.
“Council in recent times has had to increase charges on services which have been fiscally negative for them, and that is all part and parcel of the business side of what a council is and what a council does.
“In the two most obvious instances, that of burials and of leisure facilities, the price increases have applied to the individual, not been levied against each of our residents through the rates bill.
“It is disappointing that when we have suggested extending the £1 for 5 hours charge to our 6 ‘free’ carparks situated across the Borough, that it has met with such resistance. It should be noted of course that these car parks aren’t really free, but instead the maintenance bill is shouldered by each and every ratepayer.
“ALL carparks under the ownership of council cost a considerable sum of money through maintenance and this cost is passed on through rates to everyone, whether they avail of that service or not. Local business owners, particularly traders, should keep this in mind.
“We would ask those so adamant that a £1 charge is a barrier to town centre footfall, why it is that they haven’t moved to make the ‘Tower Centre’ car park and Castle Street car park both tariff free as both are under ownership and maintenance of the council?
“The answer is quite simple. There are costs associated with the upkeep of them and it is common sense to mitigate these costs as much as possible by a small charge at point of use.
“These decisions WILL be made in the long term. The truth is that certain councillors would prefer it was at a time and place under the radar of both the ratepayer and the press.”
- Statements can be sent to Ballymena Daily at email@example.com