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Saturday, 5 March 2016


George Osborne wants to give local councils control over the raising and spending of the annual £26 bn of business rates revenue.
Local government waste money thus this is a dangerously flawed idea.
In K&C we saw what happens when a council with nil commercial experience tries to be entrepreneurial.
Over the years, £60 million has been wasted on Opera Holland Park; a few million more on Chelsea Care and Moylan's Folly, the Chinese paved Exhibitionist Road, cost us close to £28 million.

It is common knowledge that the Council is now spending hundreds of thousands on £200 an hour consultants because so many expert officers have had enough of the disaster that is the Tri-Borough and left.

Letting councils get their hands on business rates revenue is tantamount to giving a limit free Amex card to a heroin addict.

This is backed up by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales. The ICAEW polled 500 businesses and found many believed their local council would not spend the money wisely.
At Cabinet level we have Rock Feilding-Mellen whose business experience is scant; Elisabeth Campbell who said that building Holland Park School cost us nothing! 
Mary Weale, recently 'let go' from a City broker and Major Gerald Hargreaves, an ex Army teacher, whose career speaks for itself.
Imagine this lot 'investing' in 'local enterprise'? Yes, very scary! 

"Many businesses do not have confidence in their local authorities to invest any additional income raised through business rates in the right place."


  1. Fly On The Wall6 March 2016 at 07:38

    This is a lunatic idea. By tradition, training, motivation and competence there is no basis for trusting local Government with business rates.

    Our patch is the Royal Borough. For too long the characteristic of Hornton Street has been too many Councillors, too much money, and not enough to do. They overtax and overspend. And more. And no accountability. No audits. Most crazy ideas get the nod.

    An opera? Lets have one.

    A Bentley? Lets have two

    Imported granite for road repairs? A good idea

    A Council rewards card? Spiffing

    Council health service? Go for it

    £100 million school? Why not

    £200k Gormely sculptures? Oh yes please......

    Designer chairs for Holland Park School? Appropriate

    Unidentified UFO search parties? Essential

    Museum houses? Fitting for the Royal Borough

    the list goes on.......

    There is not a shred of evidence that Hornton Street can be trusted with public money.

  2. Hornton Street has not demonstrated that is able to take on the added responsibility of spending business rates. A good start would be for the Leader, Cllr Paget-Brown, to make the case for taking on this added burden.

    1. Fly On The Wall7 March 2016 at 11:17

      Do not forget the ridiculous Nour Arts Festival on which the Royal Borough splurges a huge amount of money every year. Including mud wrestlers from Syria, who perform at the extravagantly refurbished Leighton House (also funded by Council Tax) to the personal delight of Piglet.

    2. What a horrible thought Fly On the Wall. I watched Piglet watching a half-naked muscular male dancer at a Nour thing, his eyes were out on stalks. It was seriously disturbing.

    3. Fly On The Wall9 March 2016 at 13:10

      Nothing new here, 16.39

  3. The answer is to pass the audit responsibilities to the NAO (National Audit Office), who audit the central government and have a very ide and stringent remit, rather leaving it to a wishy-washy Audit Commission and 'local' accounting firms to carry 'audits'...who have vested interests in Horton Street...

  4. So many small businesses are being closed down due to high rent & high business rates. Our high streets become empty whilst tacky shops pop up.

    We do not trust the council with what they are supposed to do; then why would we trust them with more money & faux powers.

    It is odd why Borwick would want to support more powers for the council when they are indept with most duties.

    We need an MP who will counter the council's crookery & ineptitude and not be in cahoots with them.

  5. As far as the Council is concerned, Borwick sees no evil, hears no evil and speaks no evil. She has far more interesting fish to fry. So residents continue to suffer.


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