Thursday, April 30, 2009

Council Tax

Dear Editor

My complaint about the fact that I have to pay Council Tax for an empty flat had the response from Nu Labour Councillor Roger Truelove that the Fire Brigade and Police are council tax funded the assumption was that to maintain these services I should pay council tax on an empty property if not I should not expect the service. So does the same apply to the unemployed and disabled who do not pay Council Tax (in most cases) are we going to revert back to hundred or so years ago where a house would display a plate on the wall stating that they had paid there insurance and if they had a fire the brigade could extinguish it? The Council Tax is a bad Tax it only charges Property owners or registered Tenants a fairer system would be for everyone to contribute to the up keep of a Council. It was interesting to note that he mentioned 4000 people in Swale on the housing waiting list if that is the case why did I have so few enquires from British Subjects, nearly all I got was from Immigrants most of whom could hardly speak the language when asked if they would be able to read the Contract, supply a references from a previous landlord and employer, all standard procedure, they could or would not comply. In GB according to the Nu Labour Government prediction we will have to build a house every six minutes for the next 23 years to cope with new immigrants. This will mean our Council Tax will be soaring through the roof not to pay just for the Housing but for new schools, already one in seven primary school children have English as there second language. Roger Truelove boasts how his government are giving financial support for the housing crisis and so they should they caused the mess. The one thing for sure the people of Swale will pay and they will be the people who have jobs, run businesses and own property who will be squeezed and I wonder when and if all these houses are built who will be living in them?

Martin Clarke Sittingbourne

Monday, April 27, 2009

Local People to Pay

Date: 25th April 2009
Release date: Immediate
Subject: Local people will pay the price for Brown’s failed policies.
Local Conservative Parliamentary Candidate, Gordon Henderson, has expressed concern at plans to increase taxes on families and firms in Sittingbourne & Sheppey.

In this week’s Budget the Government announced a number of measures that will hit local people.

· National Insurance will be increased for workers and for firms. This jobs tax will discourage businesses from hiring staff, cut people’s pay packets, and mean anyone earning £20,000 a year or more will be worse off.

· National debt will double to £1.4 trillion – this is equivalent to £22,500 of debt for every man, woman and child. Taxes are to rise by £1,000 for every family over the next two years.

· Fuel duty is up 2 pence per litre, and will continue to rise by more than inflation for the next four years, increasing the cost of travelling to work, taking children to school and going shopping.

· Alcohol duty, which was hiked up in December, will rise again as part of the Government’s plans to increase the cost of beer, cider, spirits and wine by more than inflation every year. This punishes responsible drinkers and is putting small local pubs out of business.

· Business rates are rising by £1 billion in the middle of a recession. Business rates are the biggest cost for firms after rent and staff costs. Bills have soared for local firms since the beginning of April, and further large rises are expected next year too.

Mr Henderson said:
‘These aren’t taxes for the few, they are tax increase for the many. Families and local firms across Sittingbourne & Sheppey are going to pay the price for Gordon Brown’s failings.

‘Labour MPs have been briefed to push the line that this was Budget for jobs. That couldn’t be further from the truth. At a time when people are losing their jobs or facing pay freezes, hard-working families now face smaller pay packets and a higher cost of living thanks to Labour.’

‘I just wish that Gordon Brown would pluck up the courage to call a General Election. Then we would have the chance to elect a Conservative Government to repair our broken public finances and help lead the country out of recession.’
Notes to Editors

The Budget was published on 22 April.


National debt will rise from £609 billion in 2008-09 to £1.4 trillion by 2013-14 (HM Treasury, Budget 2009, p.226).


In November’s Pre-Budget Report, the Government announced that employee and employer National Insurance contributions will rise by 0.5 per cent from April 2011. More than half of all workers (anyone earning over £20,000) will be worse off.


Fuel duty will go up by 2 pence per litre from September, with a further 1 pence per litre rise above the rate of inflation each April for the next four years (Budget 2009, p.165-166).


In December 2008, duty on beer, cider and wine increased by 8 per cent, and spirits duty by 4 per cent. In the Budget, alcohol duty is increased by a further 2 per cent (Budget 2009, p.169) – adding 1p to a pint, 13p to a bottle of spirits and 4p to a bottle of wine.

This is part of the Government’s ongoing plans to increase beer taxation by above inflation every year.

Almost six pubs close every day and more than two thousand have been forced to close in the last twelve months alone (British Beer & Pub Association press release, Chancellor Betrays Britain’s Struggling Pubs, 22 April 2009).


Business rates are rising by £1 billion in the Budget, a rise of 4.4 per cent (Budget 2009, p.231).

Business rates bills have risen by an inflation-busting 5 per cent from April 2009. On top of this, transitional relief from the 2005 revaluation has expired; in previous cycles, transitional relief lasted five years not four; this has doubled or trebled bills for some firms. The Government announced on 31 March that firms will be able to partly defer some of these rises – but firms will just be billed for the increases later.

On top of this, Gordon Brown has slashed back empty property rate relief for commercial and industrial premises, with compounds the effect of the recession when firms have empty property they cannot rent out or sell.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Marika Sherwood and Golliwogs

Dear Editor

Marika Sherwood accusations against Miss V Hemsley-Flint because she dared to have a golliwog just prove that some people live in a different world to the rest of us. Most children who had a golliwog just saw it as a toy something they would derive comfort from something to feel safe with when the went sleep rather then being a gross insult to Black people it is a compliment to them, a child would look at a black face and feel safe. It is only when the get older that they learn to be bigoted and they will eventually see that not all Africans are like Robert Mugabe or the Somali Pirates, tell them to watch the BBC programme about the Ladies detective agency set in Africa there they will see that African people are the same as English people
Marika Sherwood then goes on to say there is a need for a Federation of Black Police Officers I thought it was illegal to discriminate on the basis of the colour of the skin? Many White Male Police Officers want an organisation as they are being discriminated against, because of their colour, sex and sexual orientation. Where does it stop next we will a Right Hand under 5ft Police federation, the Federation of Black Police Officers carries on the myth that Black people are different to everyone else.
With regard to the History lesson Marika wants us to believe that Black and Indian people have been here for 2000 years, well it may have been the case that the Romans brought a few slaves from Africa when they settled in England but most went back if there were any left when the Romans left, very much like the programme MERLIN some want to manipulate history for there own benefit rather then face the truth. Do you not think that if Black and Indian people were here for 2000 years the colour of the English skin would have changed? What is fact that Black people have lived in England for at least 400 years especially round the sea ports s they would have come here as sailors and traders.
The truth is most English people are not racist, Black, Brown and White Englishman tend to get along but what all of us dislike is the amount of illegal and legal immigrants being allowed in this country at a time of National Crisis some thing we can not afford, Marika may want to believe in racist views but the majority of do not care about skin colour.

Finally Marika’s comment and I quote “However I do agree that people should be hired on merit- as long as this ignores gender, disability and skin colour” So these groups should get favourable treatment is that another way of saying DISCRIMINATION.

Martin Clarke Sittingbourne

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Empty Property @ Council Tax

Recently a lot of time has been spent questioning MP’s expenses and how much Council have lost to Icelandic Banks yet it is the general public and small businesses who have to take the brunt in extra taxes and extra regulations which generate income for Councils and Government
One anomaly is a landlord or Home owner paying Council Tax after 6 months if the building is empty, as some one who rents out flats I have always found this law annoying, why should I pay Council Tax for an empty building I already pay it where I live. Of course the government have always got an answer they maintain to help the homeless this an incentive to keep property in the Rental Market, What has happened to man’s home being his Castle if it my property why should I be forced to rent? No matter this in the past has just been an annoyance as in the past I rented my flats very easily but things have changed with the credit crunch there are lots of properties now available to rent. So it is not so easy to rent anymore I have 3 flats empty one has been refurbished after a Tenant absconded without paying his rent and the other two regulars have lost jobs and can no longer afford the rent one has to do a flat share. Because I am a bit particular who I have in my Flats and will not rent to the first person who comes along, it will take me longer to find a suitable tenant once again in the past it would not take 6months.In today’s climate where people are losing their homes, their jobs and being forced to rent their houses or move back with family, the rental market has become saturated and in all probability my flats will take longer then 6 months to rent. Of course it is not in my interest to have them empty and I may have to consider different methods to encourage people to rent BUT WHY SHOULD I PAY A FURTHER TAX because of this government ineptitude

Monday, April 06, 2009

Higher Business Rates

Date: 4th April 2009
Release date: Immediate
Subject: Gordon slams hike in business rates.
Gordon Henderson has accused the Government of pushing local firms and small shops to the wall by hiking their business rates during the recession. Business rate demands are being sent to local firms across Swale and many are seeing startling rises in their bills this year, with the prospect of even bigger hikes next year. After rent and staff, business rates are the third biggest cost that local firms face.

This comes as a survey by the Local Government Association has found that 4 out of 5 councils are reporting an increase in empty shops in town centres. Mr Henderson criticised a number of Government policies that are pushing up tax bills:

· Inflation-busting rise this April: Business rates are to rise by 5 per cent this April, despite the forecast of RPI inflation to be negative, because of a statistical quirk in the way business rate rises are calculated. The burden of rates will go up by £1 billion a year. The average business rate bill in Swale is currently £8164; this rise will push it up to £8573.

· End of transitional relief from the 2005 revaluation: Transitional relief from the 2005 business rates revaluation has now expired, pushing up bills for many firms in April 2009 by two or three times more, and raising another £100 million for the Government.

· Small shops to be hammered by the 2010 revaluation: The April 2010 rates revaluation will hit the retail sector hard, because of the Government’s decision to use April 2008 as the snapshot for the revaluation – when relative retail rents were artificially high compared to industrial and office rents. The resulting rating hikes could push many small shops out of small business rate relief, which means rocketing bills.

· New empty property hike: When Chancellor, Gordon Brown slashed back rate relief on empty properties. As the recession bites, firms are unable to rent out vacant property, but still have to pay rates in full despite no income from rent. This has increased rates by £1 billion in 2008-09 and by a further £715 million from this April.

· Retrospective ports tax: Businesses based in Sheerness docks face a further hammering, as the Government is imposing retrospective hikes on ports firms’ bills, backdated to 2005. This week Mr Henderson met with the bosses of firms worst hit by the tax to hear how it would affect the jobs of local workers. The Conservative Party is putting pressure on the Government to reverse their decision.

· Poor take-up of small business relief: Small firms are not claiming small business rate relief because they have to fill out complex paperwork. In Wales, small business rate relief has been automatic since 2007.

· New supplementary business rate: New laws being pushed through by the Government will introduce a new ‘supplementary business rate’ which could raise taxes by £600 million a year. Local authorities will effectively be forced to levy this charge because cuts to the Local Authority Business Growth Incentive Scheme mean less revenue for councils.

Mr Henderson said:
‘Gordon Brown is dragging local firms down his road to ruin. It is the height of economic madness to be increasing taxes on local firms in the depths of a recession. Local shops in Swale will be hardest hit by these rises, leading to even more boarded up shops on our high street and more job losses.’

Lest we forget

Last week I was in West London attending a conference. While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around and witnessed one of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen. Moving through the terminal was a group of soldiers in their uniforms, as they began heading to their gate everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering. When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for, it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red blooded Briton who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families. Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work, and enjoy our home without fear or reprisal. Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our service men and women a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old, ran up to one of the male soldiers. He knelt down and said 'hi,' the little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her. The young soldier didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her daddy. Suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek. The mother of the little girl, who said her daughters name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Corporal and had been in Afghanistan for 5 months now. As the mum was explaining how much her daughter, Courtney, missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up. When this temporarily single mum was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second. Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it. After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, 'I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you.' He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a Kiss on the cheek. He finished by saying 'Your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon.' The mum at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet he saluted Courtney and her mum. I was standing no more than 6 feet away as this entire event unfolded. As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own. That young soldier in one last act of moment turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek. We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it's good to be an Englishman. RED FRIDAYS Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? Englishmen and women who support our troops used to be called the 'silent majority'. We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for Country and home in record breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or over-bearing. We get no liberal media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions. Many English people, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of Britain supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that every Briton who supports our men and women afar will wear something red. By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make Great Britain on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football team If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family, It will not be long before Britain is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once 'silent' majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on. The first thing a soldier says when asked 'What can we do to make things better for you?' is...'We need your support and your prayers'... Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example; and wear something red every Friday. IF YOU AGREE -- THEN SEND THIS ON IF YOU COULD NOT CARE LESS THEN HIT THE DELETE BUTTON. IT IS YOUR CHOICE. THEIR BLOOD RUNS RED---- SO WEAR RED! --- Lest we Forget.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Message to parents

his is hilarious - no wonder some people were offended! This is the
message that the Maroochydore High School Queensland , staff voted
unanimously to record on their school telephone answering machine . This
is the actual answering machine message for the school. This came about
because they implemented a policy requiring students and parents to be
responsible for their children's absences and missing homework. The school
and teachers are being sued by parents who want their children's failing
grades changed to passing grades - even though those children were absent
15-30 times during the term and did not complete enough school work to
pass their classes.

The outgoing message:

Hello! You have reached the automated answering service of your school.
In order to assist you in connecting to the right staff member, please
listen to all the options before making a selection:

To lie about why your child is absent - Press 1

To make excuses for why your child did not do his work - Press 2

To complain about what we do - Press 3

To swear at staff members - Press 4

To ask why you didn't get information that was already enclosed in your
newsletter and several flyers mailed to you - Press 5

If you want us to raise your child - Press 6

If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone - Press 7

To request another teacher, for the third time this year - Press 8

To complain about bus transportation - Press 9

To complain about school lunches - Press 0

If you realize this is the real world and your child must be Accountable
and responsible for his/her own behaviour, class work, homework and that
it's not the teachers' fault for your child's lack of effort: Hang up and
have a nice day!

If you want this in another language, move to a country that speaks it.

Friday, April 03, 2009


The Bird Feeder
I bought a bird feeder..
I hung it on my patio and filledit lovingly with seed... It was indeed a beautiful bird feeder.
Within a week we had hundreds of birds taking advantage of the Continuous flow of free and
easily accessible food.
But then the birds started building nests in the boards of the patio, above the table,
and next to the barbecue..
Then came the bird sh * t. It was everywhere; on the patio tiles, the chairs, the table everywhere!
Then some of the birds turned mean. They would dive bomb me and try to
peck me even though I had fed them out of my own pocket.
And other birds were boisterous and loud. They sat on the feeder and squawked and screamed at all hours of the day and night and demanded that I fill it when it got low on food.
After a while, I couldn't even sit on my own back porch anymore. So I took down the
bird feeder and in three days the birds were gone.
I cleaned up their mess and took down the many nests they had built all over the patio.
Soon, the back yard was like it used to be ... quiet, serene and no one demanding their
rights to a free meal...

Now let's see ......
Brown & our government give out free food, subsidised housing,
free medical care, and free education and allows anyone
born here to be an automatic citizen.
Then the illegals came by the millions.
Suddenly our taxes went up to pay for the free services;
small flats are housing 5 or more families;
you have to wait 6 hours to be seen by a doctor in an emergency surgery because it is filled with illegal non tax payers;
your child's year 12 class is behind other schools because over half the class doesn't speak English.
Corn Flakes now come in a bilingual box;
I have to 'press one' to hear my bank talk to me in English, and
people waving flags other than 'The Union Jack' are squawking and screaming in the streets, demanding more rights and free liberties.
Its just my opinion but:
maybe, just maybe, it's time for the government to take down the damn bird feeder.
If you agree, pass it on; if not, continue cleaning up the sh*t!