Making those living next to parks and open spaces pay for them

Some while ago I wrote about Lewes District Council consulting on their plans to disaggregate the costs of running parks and open spaces and charging directly those who live closest and thus (according to the Council’s own logic) obtain the benefit from them.

On a recent visit to Lewes I find, from a local newsletter ‘Lewes News’, that this scheme is being implemented, with it saying that this is despite a survey showing that a majority, of all political persuassions, disapproved of the scheme, even in areas that would benefit from a reducation in council tax.

According to ‘Lewes News’ the local Conservative led council has separated open space managment from the general community charge as ‘Special Expences’ and proposes instead each community pays for the up keep of its ‘own’ open spaces. As a result of this, it seems that everyone in Lewes is to be surcharged for the managment of ‘their’ open spaces at around £47 per household.

It seem that this is a rather interestng way of getting around the Government’s council tax ‘cap’ and the need for a local referendum if an increase above 2% is proposed.

I have written previously about the nonsense of thinking of open space in this fragmented way but these claims from the locals may go some way to explaining the thinking behind this plan. It will be interesting to see how many other local authorities spot this ruse and copy it.


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