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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - RESOURCE OF CONCERN

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I found Michael Emmerich's policy feature (LGC, 6 August) somewhat disappointing in its view of the Local Governmen...
I found Michael Emmerich's policy feature (LGC, 6 August) somewhat disappointing in its view of the Local Government Association's response to the 2004 spending review.

While accepting the government's figure of a 6.7% increase in council tax is reflective of the assumptions at a national level, his arguing the technicalities of the figure does little to improve clarity for those who will pay it.

It is disingenuous for government ministers to argue for average council tax rises of 3% when their own planning assumptions assume a national increase of twice that figure.

The desire for low council tax increases remains the goal of all but beyond the reach of most, while at the same time service pressures continue to increase; education and social services resources are effectively ring-fenced; and the environmental, protective and cultural services block continues to be treated as a poor relation.

Notwithstanding the potential changes in education funding that may be imposed, the fact remains that even after efficiencies are made and services reviewed, there are inadequate resources to deliver the improvements desired in local priority services.

Phil Coppard

Chief executive, Barnsley MBC

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