Inside the council: Who to listen to for EU guidance

EU referendum photocall, Ilkley Moor..23rd May 2016 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

EU referendum photocall, Ilkley Moor..23rd May 2016 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

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Both the leave and the remain campaigns have made forecasts about the effect on the economy of a vote to leave. The truth is, nobody knows.

The politicians, economists, civil servants, eurocrats, bankers and the rest, may as well be reading tea leaves. On past performance it would be just as reliable.

The one thing we do know is that we contribute £350 million a week.

The fact that we get £150 million back is largely irrelevant, we don’t decide how this is spent, the unelected European Commission does. If they decide we should spend it on straightening bananas or throwing dead fish back into the sea,we don’t have a choice.

Their accounts haven’t been signed off in 15 years. If I’m two days late with my VAT return I get fined. So I do think it would be better if we kept the £350 million and spend it on what we want to, by people we can vote for and hold to account.

The next big issue is immigration. Again the politicians, economist are not to be trusted, they’re just guessing and many of them are cocooned from the effects of all out immigration and free borders.

It seems obvious that if we import labour from economies with much lower wage expectations that wages generally will fall for everybody.

Also with more people you need more houses, doctors, schools, hospitals, roads and I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Forget the past, it’s done, don’t worry about the future, nobody knows.

If you were given the chance today to join the European club, would you want to join? It’s a NO from me.

We all hear an awful lot about the crisis in elderly care. I’ve had a close up example of this in the last few months.

My auntie Joyce, who lives in Morley, had a fall and broke her pelvis.

After a brief hospital stay and eight weeks in a rehabilitation centre, she’s now at home with two carers calling four times a day.

Auntie Joyce is 90, largely deaf, partially blind, but completely sound of mind.

Although the NHS staff were universally kind it’s clearly apparent that funding is sadly lacking.

Long waiting lists for simple home adaptations and even longer ones for anything more complicated, stair lifts for example.

The system seems to assume that people can organise these things privately, although my auntie cannot use a telephone.

In addition to these problems her credit card was used by fraudsters.

The bank, after much ado, returned the money, but the police were largely uninterested. We are constantly told that our accounts are monitored for fraud, but this was the first online transaction on her account ever, she doesn’t have a mobile phone or a computer, and to top it all she has not made a transaction outside the Morley region for over 20 years. You think the bank would have twigged to something amiss.

I’m afraid that sadly, the stories we read about vulnerable elderly people being ignored or even preyed upon by society are in too many cases true.

“There’s nowt for getting old” as my still cheery auntie is prone to say.

I see that some of my councillor colleagues have had to be pursued for payment of council tax. Very embarrassing.

The bigger picture is, of course, that if the same percentage of people who are not councillors,which is about eight per cent of the population, or about 12,000 council tax payers, have to be chased for payment,how much does that cost those of us that pay on time? Direct debit anyone?