Beware of bullies

IT S Council Tax time again. This is the time of year we are told how lucky we are to have such a wonderful district council in a nice little booklet (mainly about Ely, it s true) that we have paid for in our Council Tax for the previous year. It is accom

IT'S Council Tax time again. This is the time of year we are told how lucky we are to have such a wonderful district council in a nice little booklet (mainly about Ely, it's true) that we have paid for in our Council Tax for the previous year. It is accompanied by a begging letter demanding more money than last year, having risen above the rate of inflation, of course.

Unlike most people who are after your money, the councils don't give more if you pay more. Since the last round of letters they have closed the cash desk at The Grange.

Could there be an ominous reason for the closing of the cash desk? I seem to remember that one of the main objections to moving the council offices from the Grange to Angel Drove was people liked to pay their Council Tax in the office.

Close the cash desk, end of objection. Will we see another attempt to move the offices soon? Not to worry, there are lots of other ways they can relieve you of your money. One method very popular, particularly with some of our more mature neighbours, was the swipe card. This could be used, among other places, at the Post Office. On the new begging letter there are various methods to pay listed, but no mention of swipe card.

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One Soham resident decided to try the swipe card last week and, lo and behold, it still works, so it would appear that good old East Cambs just want us to forget it. Their main objective appears to be to bully everyone into signing up to direct debit. As if you are going to give them access to your bank account! No, neither am I.

Cunning devils

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ANOTHER service that we are paying more for and getting less of is rubbish collections. Admittedly the fortnightly collection is only happening at the moment in the Bottisham area, but it will almost certainly become the norm throughout the district soon.

Most councils, when they bully their electors into storing rubbish for them, provide wheelie bins. East Cambs give us plastic bags. Could this be another crafty move to screw more money out of us? What is attracted to rubbish in plastic bags? Rats. Who do you call to get rid of rats? The district council. What do the district council do? Charge you. Cunning devils!

Have a go

IF you think that some stunts pulled in our name go beyond a joke there is time to do something. There are council elections in May and you can stand for either the town or district councils.

I keep being told that most of the objectionable measures that come out of The Grange are down to central government or Europe. If that's so, why do we need a council? It will be interesting to see if some fresh blood can actually make a difference. Have a look on and give it a go.

Tight turn

I WAS accosted by a keen cyclist and Downfields bridge user the other day. He was a little upset by the state of the verge near the Fordham Road pelican crossing. Crossing from, the western side to the east it will need a fit and agile cyclist to successfully get onto the path. The problem is the verge has been fenced in so that there is nowhere for a cyclist's arm or leg to go while his wheels are still on the path.

This isn't the most used cycleway in the kingdom, but turning it into an obstacle course certainly won't make it more popular.

No more

SOME people have asked for a second instalment of the Rumour Mill. I'm afraid it's not going to happen. I am just not brave enough to ask the kind of questions that a second instalment would require. People are quite happy to tell you about future business plans, but when you ask who is sleeping with whom their attitude seems to change a bit. Consequently no more rumours.

Positive move

THE Church Hall saga moves on! Next Thursday (April 5) there is a public meeting in The Pavilion with the aim of setting up a charitable trust to buy the site and eventually restore or replace the building. Proceedings should begin at 7.30pm.

We are fortunate to have a public hall in Soham where we can hold a meeting about a public hall.

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