Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Council Tax freeze & £25 back for every Croydon Taxpayer

Cllr Fisher, Mead & O'Connell announcing the good news

Today, the Leader of Croydon Council, Cllr Mike Fisher announced his intention to give every council taxpayer a rebate of £25 and also freeze its part of the council tax for the third time in four years.

These proposals are part of the 2014/15 budget that are due to be presented for approval at Council on 24 February.

Cllr Fisher said: "“We’ve been working hard to protect things that matter most to local residents in very difficult financial circumstances. This responsible management of our budget means we have, for the third time in four years, been able to ensure council tax bills will not rise.

“But we know how tough times are for many families and that is why we are going a step further this year and offering all council taxpayers a discount on their bills.

“As well as easing the pressure on household spending, this injection of cash should also benefit local businesses and help accelerate Croydon’s recovery.”

The 2014/15 budget also includes an ambitious multi-million pound programme of investment for the borough, focusing on building more schools and delivering more school places, regenerating the borough, improving highways and building new homes over the next three years.

Key points:

• £90m on primary and secondary school expansions, including five new schools
• £10m on special educational needs to provide extra places
• £24m on highways improvements
• £26m in improving public areas across the borough
• £17m on regenerating New Addington, including a new leisure centre
• £6m on building new social housing
• £26m makeover for Fairfield Halls to help secure its future and its place as a major centre for arts and entertainment

Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Ugly Truth About Violent Assaults on Christian Leaders in the Modern Britain

Today, think tank Parliament Street is launching a campaign calling for greater protection for Christian Leaders from violent assaults, abuse and harassment. Across Britain, official Police figures show that nearly 200 Vicars and Priests have been victims of violent attacks, including grievous bodily harm over the last few years alone.

All too often Police are logging these vicious crimes as standard common assaults, including ABH and GBH without properly taking into account the fact that the victim was wearing a dog collar or the context of the attack being within a church.

It is time for the government to take steps to ensure these assaults are classified as religious hate crimes, instead of standard assaults. This will ensure greater protection for religious leaders as the penalties for religious hate crimes are far more severe and this will send a clear message that the government is doing everything it can to protect Christian leaders and those of other faiths in Britain.