Rural communities will need our help

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Rural communities will bear the brunt of government cuts that will force local councils to slash their services.

Rural councils will face a bigger reduction in central grant and spending power than urban councils.

The information released by the government is incomplete with much detailed information to follow.

But an initial assessment paints 
a bleak picture for the countryside.

It certainly does not represent a fair deal for both urban and rural communities as suggested by Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles.

Predominantly rural local authorities will see an average 3.81 per cent reduction in formula funding compared to a 2.04 per cent reduction for urban authorities.

Significantly rural authorities will see an even bigger cut, averaging 5.21 per cent.

This is a body blow for rural councils already struggling to provide services to countryside communities.

Even before these reductions, urban areas received about half as much more funding per head than rural areas.

This settlement further widens the gap.

Rural residents already pay more council tax for fewer services because of historic government underfunding, so the settlement is very bad news for the countryside.

Graham Biggs

chief executive

Rural Services Network

Fury at disabled pass changes

My friend, who is a pensioner, was recently charged a parking fine of £35 for using an out-of-date blue badge disabled pass.

Previously, he had received a reminder when the renewal was due. Subsequently he has been informed that reminders are no longer being issued but, like many others, he was unaware of this change of policy.

He was told because so many had been similarly caught, there was a backlog and it may be six to eight weeks before he receives his new pass. This is a disgrace.

Name and address supplied

Owners should control their dogs

Dog owners should discipline their dogs more. Why don’t owners make sure their dogs are kept in, or locked away during the postman’s arrival times?

A few years ago I was delivering a free newspaper.

Having entered the path to the front door, I noticed a Dulux-type dog barking at the window of the house I was visiting.

I was thinking to myself, I’m glad that’s inside, not out.

Before I could turn round, this dog had come from round the back of the house, and I was wearing it on my back, with the owner chasing frantically behind it, to call it off.

The solution is don’t deliver their mail, let them collect their own from the sorting office, they might learn.

Tez Presley

address supplied