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Letter to Newbury Weekly - February 2015
I read with interest the latest news on  West Berkshire Councils
entanglement with the Parkway development, as outlined on the Newbury
Weekly website(20th Feb 2015).

Although it is regrettable that the council has failed to realised a
significant 6 figure in revenue from parking for the last two years,
the article suggested that council may have also missed opportunities
to follow up the agreement.

If SLI have not submitted agreed plans, why wasn't the council or its
officers not following this up promptly with phone calls to ensure the
earliest conclusion to the signing and the realisation of the revenue

The issue of parking revenue also highlight the problem in this
country of the over-reliance on external revenue sources to fund local
services by councils. This includes not just parking fees, but traffic
enforcement penalties, the camera's on the Park Way bridge in Newbury
and in the case of Reading Borough Council, bus lane enforcement.

Councils were given revenue raising powers in part to make the public
more sensitive to councils spending and to hold them to account for
doing so at the ballet box. Councils nationally were not given such
powers so they can raise revenue in an opportunistic manner, just
because it seems so much easier than properly managing budgets and

If public services are not being properly funded centrally, and they
almost certainly weren't even before the Coalition governments
unwarranted cuts, councils are still not justified in resorting to
stealth taxes to do so, however compelling the case.

The Liberal party is a long advocate of Land Value Taxation both to
adequately fund public services, and to promote a modest
redistribution of wealth in this country. The collection of  funds
would be both fair and transparent to all.

The LibDems commitment to Land Value Taxation appears to have waned
almost as soon as it's ill judged entry into the Coalition government.
And one would hardly expect the national Conservative party to endorse
a policy which would ensure its own electorate, benefactors and
wealthy donors paid their fair dues to society.

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