I have been watching the Sunday Politics and learning that Cheshire East is freezing its council tax. That may or may not be a good thing but I suppose it depends on the amount of service already being delivered, the quality and efficiency of the service and the opinions of the local residents. Eric Pickles doesn't want a rise in the council tax but I'm not quite sure how he knows all these things about every local authority.
I have been helping my son with some DIY in Cheshire East so now I can compare the service given to residents at recycling centres there and the service close to me in Morecambe and I am pleased to report that my local recycling centre is excellent. You can leave residents to fend for themselves in recycling centres (as well as in a general sense) and it may well be that they manage, but that doesn't make a system efficient and it doesn't give residents a service that they want.
Peter Thornton, leader of the South Lakeland council was on the Sunday Politics programme and he was quite right when he said that Eric Pickles is wrong to tell everyone how much they should be paying to their council. Localism means that local people are able to make political judgements. If you prefer central government telling you what you should be doing then you can always support Eric Pickles but you may prefer to vote for local politicians. You may prefer local democracy.
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