Sunday, December 01, 2013

Kingston Council optimise their revenue capturing techniques

Not content with having one of the highest council taxes in the UK…*

Local authority 2013-14 Average Band D (excluding Parish Precepts) 
Gateshead 1,443.20
Rutland UA 1,430.51
Hartlepool UA 1,418.70   
Walsall    1,410.26   
Nottingham UA 1,404.42   
Stockport    1,397.05   
Oldham    1,392.95   
Kingston-upon-Thames 1,379.65

Not content with charging us £80 a year to park on a street somewhere near our house…

Kingston Council have made some more changes. Now not only can we not park on our own street most of the day, we can’t load there either. Practically I’m not sure how this is meant to work. How are we ever meant to get something delivered? How are older residents meant to get picked up from their house? But not happy with this change, the council have also introduced a parking enforcement smart car that roams the streets trying to catch any parking offenders. This was a big money spinner for Sutton council and I guess it will be the same for Kingston. Last Saturday I was caught unloading my car by this roaming enforcer. Unlike traffic wardens, it’s impossible to have any kind of rational discussion with them since they drive off as soon as they’ve got their photographic evidence.

So what to do? Well Kingston Council maybe behaving like the Goldman Sachs vampire squid, but fortunately there are local elections coming up soon. Frankly anyone who stands in that election who will stand up for residents’ interests will get my vote. Which pretty much excludes any of the three main parties…

And maybe another option is just to not play the game anymore. Get rid of the car, try to reduce my income to a level where I no longer have to pay the full council tax. Or just move somewhere with a more sensible level of council taxation.

Update – I appealed against the ticket since there were no markings on the pavement to show loading and unloading was restricted, and my appeal was accepted. I’m happier, but still not satisfied with the council’s tactics.

*Just look at the original document I pulled this data from to see the dramatic difference in council tax levels, can anyone explain these vast differences?     

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