Everyone is focused on what Brexit means for Britain, but why are we not focusing on what's happening on our doorsteps, our local areas? We need to start thinking about how our so-called local councils are working for us, and how they are not working for us. More and more local councils are being moved away from the area they are responsible for, meaning that people who don't live in that town or village are making the decisions for it. How can these people know what the area needs if they don't actually know it, they don't live there, and they don't listen to the people who do?

My local council, who used to be in our town centre, has moved to our rival market town 40 miles away - how does that make any sense? Thanks to this move, for money saving reasons, my town is now having so many changes to it decided by people who don't seem to have a clue what the town actually needs.

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Residents are outraged. Not only are people, who don't care, making the decisions, the town our council has merged with used the money allocated to my town to develop their own! How is that allowed?

Where has the community spirit gone?

Corruption within local councils is making it impossible for towns to keep their integrity and traditional practices. For example, local residents and businesses in my town have protested against and partitioned against the development of a new bus station for years now and lost the battle last year. Fair enough a new bus station but they have moved it from the town centre to outside the town centre, making access to businesses and services more difficult for our ageing community, disabled people, and everyone else. Not only does the new bus station look awful, the lack of design is embarrassing and it's not in keeping with the traditional little market town we are.

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But the worst thing about the change of the bus station is the corruption behind it. The reason for moving the bus station is so the original bus station can be developed by our previous Mayor who owns the land there, making a massive profit by creating an empty shops that we don't need, funnily enough, he proposed the idea and made sure it was implemented.

What we do need is for our council to support and help our community.

We want to be listened to and we want our council to provide the services we pay for.

There are businesses having to pay for simple services that should be included in the business rates we pay, services such as Christmas lights for example. The town that our council moved to get their's paid for by the council but not us. Flower baskets, street cleaning, and even bin collection for some businesses isn't included! How is that? What are we actually paying our taxes for? However, the large country-wide business that owns the department store in the centre of our town gets support paying their rates, whereas the small local businesses get no such support.

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It's time we went back to local councils and not county councils, it's not working. The people making the decisions aren't being fair and they don't actually care about the town.

The level of corruption is getting out of hand.

Recently my town created a local BID scheme where businesses can pay into the scheme in order to get the services that should really be provided by the council already.

A year after creating this system local business owners are refusing to pay the 'voluntary' payment for this scheme because they haven't seen any of the promised services technically making the contract null and void; the council has sent out a court summons to over 100 of the businesses for not paying the 'voluntary' payment - obviously business owners are outraged! Refusal to pay is also because they have found out that the money raised by the scheme, around £10,000, is going to be used for a road sweeping service which apparently is a service the council should provide already, but don't.

So, in other words, the council have used the money for services they can't afford to provide at the moment because of all the budget cuts made by the Government. Once again corruption within local government is outrageously obvious to everyone involved yet nothing can be done about it because any protest against it is ignored. But not anymore, the council cannot ignore over 100 business owners' outrage.

It's time something was done about this corruption, and it's time communities were listened to.

We need to support our local communities and stop focusing so much on what the rest of the World is doing. What about us?

#communityspirit

#localcouncils #Brexit #Community Spirit