Friday, 14 December 2007

Fraud... who pays? who cares?

Today's news is that benefit fraud is costing British tax payers neary £3 billion a year. To put that in context the total amount paid by all tax payers in council tax in the whole country is only around £20 billion - Wouldn't you love it if your council tax was 15% lower? £3 billion is a lot of money and they're only the ones the government knows about.

For the past few months as a councillor I've been following the benefit department. So far this year this one tiny council has sucessfully prosecuted 17 benefit fruadsters and each time I give a quote to the local paper. I often wonder if this makes a difference - but today I learnt that it does. Amongst this morning's christmas cards was an anonymous letter from someone who says he/she has seen my press statements and he/she tips the council off to another 4 potential fraudsters. Thank you, who ever you are, for your letter. Little things like this if multiplied across the country would make a big difference.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Another death on the road

Tragically there was another death on my local road this weekend. This now makes 22 deaths in under 10 miles in 10 years. It's a small rural road never designed for the traffic it sees today. Similar stories are repeated on rural roads all over the country.

Strictly speaking roads issues are outside my "job" as a district councillor but I've spent hours on the phone today to the public campaigners, MPs, Parish Councillors, Senior Councillors - in fact anyone I can find to help add weight. Tonight's news is the Highways dept are going to consider dropping the speed limit on the whole road. This will be a small victory for those of us who have been campaigning for improvements - but the price of yet another fatal accident is too high.