NEWS: council tax increases / new restaurant / fines for dumping / cricket centre

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in late March 2015
News of…:  how parish council has been increasing tax over the years / man fined for local fly-tipping / welcome to Sultan Restaurant / new community centre for cricket club comes closer / Betty’s birthday
(NB – There are also dozens of events in our locality – including a special Daffodil Ball for all you dancers!  Check out the Events page)

– – –
A string of tax rises by parish council

You may have been as surprised as we were to receive the latest council tax demand through the letter-box.  Despite the fact that inflation is currently running at zero, Draycott Parish Council are demanding a 6% increase in their portion of the council tax for this year.
This might not be so bad if it were a one-off, but, looking back over previous years, increases have been even higher then.
In 2007, the demand from our parish council was for an extra 9.9%;   in 2009, 11%;   in 2011, 4%;   in 2012, 14% (!);   and last year it was a staggering 24%!!
Don’t forget, over the period 2012-15, the county council did not demand any increase at all…
In fact, since 2007, the amount of council tax demanded by Draycott Parish Council for a local Band A property has virtually doubled…
It would be interesting to know how the Conservatives who sit on the parish council justify that.

If our parish council were a business, or even a household, massive questions would be asked, and one would want to investigate just exactly how the council’s spending seems to have got on this rollercoaster that we are paying for.
(However, the refrain is very often: “…oh, it’s just the parish council, it doesn’t matter…”   We bet you’ve heard that said a lot).
It would also be good to see the council explain itself to the public – perhaps by writing on Draycott Parish Council website just why and how it thinks these jumps are acceptable.

However, as we all know, all seven seats on the parish council are up for election on May 7th.  Whether you are happy with the council’s policies or not, if you think you could help manage the council’s finances, why not think of standing as a parish councillor? – it’s free to do, and easy.
Or just use your vote.
Or both!

– – –
Betty’s birthday

Talking of the parish council reminds us that one of the grand old ladies of the district has just celebrated her 102nd birthday – yes, 102 years old…!

Betty Hammond, who served on the parish council for thirty years, now lives at St Margaret’s Court – still within a short walk of the house where she spent nearly all of her life.
See: the remarkable story of Betty Hammond

– – –
Cricketers move forward

Blythe Cricket Club’s open exhibition at the Church Hall earlier this month was an eye-opener.  The Cresswell-based club are going through the process of gaining a Lottery grant to pay for a new centre to replace their crumbling old pavilion/club-house.

BCC plans

As seen at the open-day: the plans for the proposed new centre at the cricket club

However, to get a Lottery grant, you need community support, and it seems like the open-day achieved some of that aim.  Early visitors to the exhibition included Shelagh Wood of the local VVSM community action group, who said: “We are very pleased to see the progress that is being made, and we are happy to be one of Blythe Club’s official partners in this venture.”

If the new centre does get built, it will comprise a ‘community hub’ featuring function room, bar, meeting room, kitchen and patio area.  Everyone from Draycott-in-the-Moors will have a right to use it; and so far there has been interest from local lunch-clubs and exercise teachers.
If you want to know more about the proposed centre, contact Colin Dawson (Blythe CC president) on 07824 637007 or Mark Roberts (SMDC’s voluntary-action co-ordinator) on 07584 027299.

– – –
No more mango

It’s all change at the south Asian restaurant on Uttoxeter Road, where there has been a complete re-versioning.   What was The Mango Tree is now ‘The Sultan Buffet’, and it now categorises itself as a restaurant specialising in Pakistani cuisine.

Sultan Buffet Restaurant

The Sultan Buffet

It’s certainly going all out to attract new customers, staying open to 11pm six nights a week, which is pretty late for a restaurant.  It’s also not licensed, so you can bring your own booze, which cuts the costs too of course!

Contact them through their much-publicised website or you can always use the restaurant’s Facebook page.

– – –
Done for dumping

One item in the news recently pleased us, and that was a fine of £350 handed out to a man who dumped a dozen bin bags of rubbish in a field off Draycott Old Road – the man was also given a 12-month supervision order by magistrates.
Frankly, there is a lot of rubbish-dumping going on along that stretch, and it is unsightly and unpleasant.

However, it turns out that this man was only caught by accident; and most fly-tippers get away with it.
So, if you spot someone dumping stuff, or you see evidence of some dumping, you are encouraged to report it.  You can contact Staffordshire Moorlands Council either using their website or by calling 0345 605 3014.

Want to comment on any of the items on this page?
Just use the comments box – near the bottom of this page.           (The form will ask if you wish to put in your email address.  You don’t have to – and it is always kept private anyway and never published -, but, if you don’t add your email, that means you might miss any responses to your comment).


2 responses to “NEWS: council tax increases / new restaurant / fines for dumping / cricket centre

  1. Tax increase negligible

    it’s not that I am happy with anything that goes up, but if my entire council tax bill had gone up by 6% I would be with you in shouting about it.
    There isn’t anything that says I trust their financial management – but the amount in question is so negligible.
    Haven’t they got a new clerk? why have a go at her for the past management of the council? I hear she is doing a good job so far.
    Interested Draycott Resident

    Thanks for your comment.
    I agree with you that the new clerk is doing a good job. She has been praised on this website more than once.
    Also, she is not responsible for the setting of the council tax; council tax is the responsibility of the parish councillors alone. We were never criticising her.
    Have you thought of standing for the parish council? There is a nation-wide drive to encourage people interested in their local area to do so – and there will be vacancies on Draycott – so you would be very welcome. (See Standing for Draycott PC)


  2. Tax increase - no big deal

    You article uses an inflammatory headline: I just looked at my council tax bill for my Band C house and the money for Draycott Parish Council is 6.2p a day.
    That six percent rise you talk of means I am going to pay a whole whopping 0.004p per day extra or £1.40 a year – big deal!!!
    They must have their reasons for that rise.
    The county council are grabbing 2% extra.
    I can’t comment on last year as I couldn’t find last year’s bill.
    Roll on the revolution.
    Interested Draycott Resident

    Thanks for your comment. I am glad that you are content with the level of the tax rise by the parish council, and the way it has risen over the last few years.
    I am also glad that you trust the parish council’s financial management.
    If you do not have your bill from last year, you can check the increase by writing to the Draycott Parish Council clerk, or to Staffs Moorlands Council.

    You may be interested to know that, as a Band C tax payer, you pay more in council tax to Draycott Parish that you would in most other parishes in the Moorlands. In fact you pay twice as much to your parish council as a Band C payer does in Rushton Spencer.

    All we seek to do is bring people’s attention to matters.


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