Critic hits out at Keighley Town Council finance 'madness'

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Keighley MP Kris Hopkins has criticised the precept rise Keighley MP Kris Hopkins has criticised the precept rise

A fierce critic of Keighley Town Council will ask an auditor to look at its finances after a vote to raise the council tax precept by 72 per cent.

The decision, made at a meeting of the full council last Thursday, has come under fire from Elizabeth Mitchell, a Keighley grandmother who describes the rise as unfair.

She is to contact an external auditor to request an investigation into how the council spends its money. And she has also accused the council of outsourcing work that should be done in Keighley.

Keighley Mayor George Metcalf responded by saying the complaint was part of “an intense campaign” to discredit the council.

The precept rise means the town council’s annual charge on band B properties will rise from £18.90 to £32.62, equivalent to an extra 26 pence per week. Bradford Council will decide on the base level of council tax at its budget meeting next Thursday.

Keighley MP Kris Hopkins has already labelled the rise “outrageous” and urged the town council to reverse its decision.

Mrs Mitchell said: “This massive rise is just so unfair on Keighley families that are already struggling to buy food and pay their bills.

“I have raised my concerns with the mayor about the council’s spending, and asked all councillors to look at whether they acted lawfully in some of their dealings.”

She says the council has overspent on the town’s civic centre, which is making a loss, and criticises the £3,000 spent on Christmas lights for the building. She also points out that the council’s quarterly magazine is published in Milton Keynes, and benches in the town hall square were bought in Scotland.

Mrs Mitchell said: “Why, in these austere times, has the town council continued to spend, spend, spend? I will do all in my power to stop the madness.”

In response Coun Metcalf said: “We are aware that an orchestrated and intense campaign, which has included a good deal of misinformation, is being conducted against the democratically elected members of Keighley Town Council.

“The council always endeavours to conform to the principles of best value when purchasing goods and equipment.”

Comments (12)

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8:44am Thu 21 Feb 13

Johsay says...

Another one nowhere near fit for purpose.
Another one nowhere near fit for purpose. Johsay
  • Score: 0

9:04am Thu 21 Feb 13

Thee Voice of Reason says...

I bet the people of Keighley wish they could have a vote to increase their income by 72%.
I bet the people of Keighley wish they could have a vote to increase their income by 72%. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 0

10:53am Thu 21 Feb 13

gully1972 says...

Mr Metcalf - this is not an intense campaign to discredit the council. This is a group of people who have raised queries of the council's finances, which are supposed to be free for all to see, and have not been made readily available. A group of Keighley residents have got together as a result to pressure the council into answering perfectly legitimate questions. We are not getting any answers. Play free with our money yet shy away from explaining yourselves when we dare to raise a query!
Mr Metcalf - this is not an intense campaign to discredit the council. This is a group of people who have raised queries of the council's finances, which are supposed to be free for all to see, and have not been made readily available. A group of Keighley residents have got together as a result to pressure the council into answering perfectly legitimate questions. We are not getting any answers. Play free with our money yet shy away from explaining yourselves when we dare to raise a query! gully1972
  • Score: 0

11:06am Thu 21 Feb 13

allannicho says...

I must be missing something here?
I understood no rises above 2% were
allowed otherwise the Council must hold a referendum?
I must be missing something here? I understood no rises above 2% were allowed otherwise the Council must hold a referendum? allannicho
  • Score: 0

11:24am Thu 21 Feb 13

Albion. says...

allannicho wrote:
I must be missing something here?
I understood no rises above 2% were
allowed otherwise the Council must hold a referendum?
The basic level is still set by Bradford Council, this is a local supplement and adds up to a rise of 26p per week.
[quote][p][bold]allannicho[/bold] wrote: I must be missing something here? I understood no rises above 2% were allowed otherwise the Council must hold a referendum?[/p][/quote]The basic level is still set by Bradford Council, this is a local supplement and adds up to a rise of 26p per week. Albion.
  • Score: 0

11:48am Thu 21 Feb 13

gully1972 says...

26p a week doesn't sound a lot when you calculate that with the amount of people who will be paying it generates an additional income of something in the region of £450k. What on earth could they be wanting all this additional money for I wonder? Assistance in repaying the £1.1 million loan for the "self financing civic centre" by any chance?
26p a week doesn't sound a lot when you calculate that with the amount of people who will be paying it generates an additional income of something in the region of £450k. What on earth could they be wanting all this additional money for I wonder? Assistance in repaying the £1.1 million loan for the "self financing civic centre" by any chance? gully1972
  • Score: 0

1:23pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Joedavid says...

I can't understand why two Councils one in Keighley and another in Bradford both running the same place.
I can't understand why two Councils one in Keighley and another in Bradford both running the same place. Joedavid
  • Score: 0

1:36pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Albion. says...

Joedavid wrote:
I can't understand why two Councils one in Keighley and another in Bradford both running the same place.
They are common throughout the country. http://en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/Parish_coun
cils_in_England
[quote][p][bold]Joedavid[/bold] wrote: I can't understand why two Councils one in Keighley and another in Bradford both running the same place.[/p][/quote]They are common throughout the country. http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Parish_coun cils_in_England Albion.
  • Score: 0

2:07pm Thu 21 Feb 13

collos25 says...

The brown paper envelopes having been getting a bit lately.Keighley council a bit like Bradford not fit for purpose councils seem to forget what they are there for and spend tax payers money on fanciful dreams that only benifit the few council members and friends.
The brown paper envelopes having been getting a bit lately.Keighley council a bit like Bradford not fit for purpose councils seem to forget what they are there for and spend tax payers money on fanciful dreams that only benifit the few council members and friends. collos25
  • Score: 0

2:21pm Thu 21 Feb 13

webshow says...

Keighley householders should all get together & not pay the council tax. If you all did it together there isn't a lot the law can do. Peaceful civil unrest will make the elected free for all civil servants listen.
Keighley householders should all get together & not pay the council tax. If you all did it together there isn't a lot the law can do. Peaceful civil unrest will make the elected free for all civil servants listen. webshow
  • Score: 0

8:58am Fri 22 Feb 13

gully1972 says...

Not sure if this attachment will work - if it does - it makes interesting reading. Not sure if this would cover a town council but even if it doesn't surely it's an example that should be followed.

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-Jan2013.pdf&h=vAQFr
w8M9AQGNewGyUvsUzlKR
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Not sure if this attachment will work - if it does - it makes interesting reading. Not sure if this would cover a town council but even if it doesn't surely it's an example that should be followed. https%3A%2F%2Fwww.go v.uk%2Fgovernment%2F uploads%2Fsystem%2Fu ploads%2Fattachment_ data%2Ffile%2F71262% 2F130129_Letter-Coun cilTaxFreeze-leaders -Jan2013.pdf&h=vAQFr w8M9AQGNewGyUvsUzlKR qNzi7oz899Q8yS6qK2z9 cQ&s=1 gully1972
  • Score: 0

9:00am Fri 22 Feb 13

gully1972 says...

https://www.gov.uk/g
overnment/uploads/sy
stem/uploads/attachm
ent_data/file/71262/
130129_Letter-Counci
lTaxFreeze-leaders-J
an2013.pdf
https://www.gov.uk/g overnment/uploads/sy stem/uploads/attachm ent_data/file/71262/ 130129_Letter-Counci lTaxFreeze-leaders-J an2013.pdf gully1972
  • Score: 0

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