War Memorial Gary Trouton

An open letter to King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council

April 2002

Is 98.78% of your council tax being paid to the rest of the county?

Revenues Services, Central Services, PO Box 26, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE30 1PX

CC The Village Pump

11th March 2002

Re: Property Reference 00632304300001 / Account Number 4015978

Dear Sir/Madam,

We wish to make a complaint about the lack of council service and funds Stoke Ferry are currently receiving.

We moved from Essex to Stoke Ferry, in October 2001. We knew that the council tax bill was high every year, but thought it was worth it for such a lovely house and historic village.

Since moving here, it has become apparent that the council has done nothing to maintain the village. We currently pay £1072.17 per annum Band E council tax. Because we were disheartened about the preservation of Stoke Ferry, we examined our council tax bill breakdown and were mortified to see that 98.78% of our hard earned council tax money is being paid to the rest of the county. How can you possibly justify this?

It's no wonder this village looks runs down and dirty. How on earth can you call this a conservation area, when it looks more like an industrial site? And let's face it, the future doesn't look bright for historical Stoke Ferry when there is an approximate average of £5.00 per head being spent on it per year. This is absolutely outrageous.

Throughout the UK, residents' pay banded council tax, which is dependent on the area they live in, and the size of their home. It is quite clear that we are paying an excessive amount just because we live in a big house. What a complete rip off.

We want a complete breakdown of how this pathetic amount is spent in the village. The main reasons for our concerns are as follows:

* The council does not pay water drainage.

* There is no street lighting in the High Street for the council to maintain.

* The pavements have never been cleared from debris.

* The road surfaces are extremely poor.

* There are no deterrents (i.e. a flashing speeding sign) to stop vehicles speeding through the village. Our next door but one neighbour recently lost her cat, which was hit by a speeding car.

* A recent incident with a homeless person knocking at resident's doors at 10.00pm asking for a place to sleep, & entering our next door neighbour's house uninvited, had many residents terrified to open their doors. We immediately reported the incident to the police, but unfortunately they showed no interest. Their reply was, "If there is a policeman in the area, there will be someone to check it out". This is an absolute disgrace, and needless to say, they did not appear. I am thirty years old, and slept with all the house lights on all night. My neighbour, whose house the homeless person entered, was in a terrible state.

* The vandalised bus shelter has had endless destruction, with no attempt from the council to rectify.

The village doesn't look pretty at all. It's bad enough having the Favor Parker factory and lorries in the village, without the lack of commitment from the council. As Favor Parker appear to be the main culprits for the mess and ruin, of what should be a beautiful village, it may well be that their tax should be raised to fund the improvements to Stoke Ferry, and not the residents.

We feel that as this is a conservation area, more funds from our council tax payment should be used to maintain the village, rather than let it deteriorate to an unmanageable state. We look forward to receiving your breakdown of services for Stoke Ferry, and answers to our above concerns. We feel that it is not unreasonable to ask you for such a report, and look forward to receiving an immediate reply.

A copy of this letter will be forwarded to the local papers if an acceptable reply is not received.

Yours faithfully,

Nathan Porter and Sara Manwaring

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