Town council turmoil is no surprise

Date: Tuesday 5th December 2017

Sir, As a long time critic of Penrith Town Council, the recent turmoil and resignations (Herald, 25th November) came as no surprise. It has been a shambles since day one.

A council established on a “yes” vote of just 27 per cent. of eligible Penrith residents never had any democratic legitimacy and it should now be put out of its misery.

Apart from a few flower beds, there doesn’t appear to have been any discernible improvements that have come about thanks to this expensive talking shop.

Many of the councillors are unelected, having been co-opted to serve. At least six councillors have been co-opted by their colleagues since January alone.

Even with these new members, there are still more departures than arrivals.

In just three years, the annual council tax precept per average Band D property has risen from an estimated £21 to an actual £72, a 242 per cent. increase.

Remember, unlike district and borough councils which are capped at five per cent., the amateur town councillors have complete control over the precept and can increase it by as much as they want.

When I raised objections against this charade at the time of the consultation and referendum, I was shouted down and laughed at. Well, as Nigel Farage said in the European Parliament following the Brexit vote: “You’re not laughing now, are you?”. Yours etc,

J. R. KELLY

Lowther Street,

Penrith.