It might just be a gesture but it's one the Environment Agency could do with learning

Today Hull Council, run by the Liberal Democrats, announced a 25% cut in council tax for all those houses that have been flooded. yes, this amounts to only a small amount of money back for people who have lost so much. However, it is a gesture, a sign that the council does care and does sympathise with the residents.

Compare Hull Council with the Environment Agency who it was revealed today had handed out massive bonuses to senior people for hitting targets, including for "work in preventing flooding".

Whilst the people who received these bonuses might be entitles to them, there is a question as to whether the people really ought to be accepting them at this time or whether they ought to be making a gesture of some sort, however small, in donating some to a fund to help victims of the flooding.

Yes, in both cases it might be a matter of being a PR exercise, Hull Council have got it just right whereas the Environment Agency have got it badly wrong.


Anonymous said...

Whilst appreciating the problems people have had - From where is Hull City council going to get the money they are refunding to those who have been flooded out?

Remember - councils don't have any money - other than that which they first take off the residents so - where are these refunds going to come from? Who will pay for them?

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

Nich, you're a little out of your depth here (no pun intended!). Hull is just as mismanaged under the Lib Dems as it was under Labour. When its residents were feet-deep under water, the council didn't do anything to help and asked the government for financial assistance - despite having massive reserves in the bank after making a fortune from Kingston Communications.

Kingston Communications was the one last remaining council-owned telco which stood firm, independent and local in the face of first the GPO, then British Telecom. But now, finally after 105 years it’s all over. Hull City Council, having floated Kingston in 1999 confirmed it has sold its remaining 30.6 per cent stake in the business, ending the relationship between local government and a local telecoms provider.

Being an incompetent local authority, taxpayers now face a massive bill to repair flood damage after the Hull admitted that its properties were not insured.

Officials at Kingston-upon-Hull City Council revealed that most of the city's 28,500 council houses, schools and other public buildings were not covered for water damage.

They took the decision not to insure the properties because the excess of £250,000 was considered too high. Instead they opted for a self-insurance scheme where £9 million was set aside to cover damage and repairs.

But Hull now faces a £200 million repair bill, so a 25% reduction in council tax bills will be met by other new charges.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Justin, you are just trying to score political points whereas mine was one about gestures at a time when people feel very down about the floods.

What on earth the KC Communications deal has to do with my post is a mystery to me. after all the sell offs the Tories undertook, it seems a bit rich to be lectured about privatisations.

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

Because the privatisation of KC enabled the council to go into the black with massive reserves - and they failed to buy insurance for their residents and businesses and had the cheek to ask to government for money when they are sitting on a nest egg. People’s hardship has been made worse by a. the council’s inaction and b.) their greed. Now see the link?