The councils that cried wolf? Sound familiar?

The councils that cried wolf? Sound familiar?

This week we were greeted by shrill warnings from a group of top-tier councils that they were on the brink of bankruptcy. New analysis from the County Councils Network (CCN), which represents a range of top-tier local authorities, claimed many were “running out of road” to avoid insolvency. Naturally, we were quick out the blocks, channelling the frustrations of taxpayers about the “annual excuses for why some town hall bosses are unable to keep the books in order.” And speaking on TalkRadio, head of campaigns Elliot Keck poured some much-needed scepticism on the claims.

Chatting with Petrie Hoskin, Elliot argued that “this is a negotiating tactic. For every year for the last few years, we’ve seen the same group of councils issue very shrill warnings… it’s just a way to squeeze a bit more money out of the government.”. Of course, many councils are facing difficulties, and there have been some shocking collapses in town hall finances. And as we revealed last week, the true scale of the problem is unknown. Almost 100 councils failed to publish their annual accounts in 2022/23, adding to a total of 658 overdue documents since 2019. One of the worst is Gravesham, which failed to publish any accounts in the last four financial years. Our team just had to pay them a visit.

The TPA’s Elliot Keck, Joe Ventre and Penny Hampden-Turner set up shop outside the council headquarters in Gravesend with a sign asking “what are they hiding” and spoke to local residents about their findings. Speaking to camera in a video out next week, Penny argued that councils who can’t reveal how they spend your money should be restricted from hiking rates.

Please help us keep councils honest by donating to the TPA today https://www.taxpayersalliance.com/



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Team @ AberdareOnline

Team @ AberdareOnline

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