COMMENT: A bright idea, or something that smacks of desperation?

Bicester Advertiser: COMMENT: A bright idea, or something that smacks of desperation? COMMENT: A bright idea, or something that smacks of desperation?

NECESSITY is the mother of invention and you can say the latest money-raising scheme from Oxfordshire County Council is certainly inventive.

Yesterday the council’s “income generation cabinet advisory group” backed a new scheme whereby the fine upstanding taxpayers of the county are going to be able to donate extra cash to help out the cash-strapped authority.

As we all know, the council is staring down the barrel after the latest round of funding cuts and so is exploring, it would appear, any and all ways of rustling up as many coppers as possible.

Getting people to overpay their council tax is seemingly a non-starter so this latest scheme of donations is being recommended to the cabinet to pursue.

Arash Fatemian, the council’s head of finance, is entirely realistic this is unlikely to be a source of riches.

At best, seemingly, the council might hit four figures, a tiny drop in the ocean when you are talking financial woes of £61m.

There is some merit in the scheme if people are able to donate to a particular sector of council services they want to help – care of the elderly for example.

But that the project is even being investigated is an insight into where the council has found itself. As Bob Price, the leader of Oxford City Council, says, it really does smack of desperation.

Mr Fatemian will not like this, but it is hard not to have the mental image of him sat cross-legged in Cornmarket Street with a tatty hat and muttering at passers by: “Any spare change?”

The downturn has been shocking for this country but are things really so bad that the Government is happy for its county councils to be effectively reduced to the level of begging?

Comments (4)

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9:00am Wed 15 Jan 14

CupHalfFull says...

at the very least it will call the bluff of those people who call for every service to be protected, even if they aren't being used. So if you are one of those people who called for a service not to be cut - here is your chance to protect it.
at the very least it will call the bluff of those people who call for every service to be protected, even if they aren't being used. So if you are one of those people who called for a service not to be cut - here is your chance to protect it. CupHalfFull

12:04pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

CupHalfFull wrote:
at the very least it will call the bluff of those people who call for every service to be protected, even if they aren't being used. So if you are one of those people who called for a service not to be cut - here is your chance to protect it.
If the City Council don't want donations from generous benefactors, it would be helpful if they'd formally advise the people of Oxford to make donations directly to the County Council.
[quote][p][bold]CupHalfFull[/bold] wrote: at the very least it will call the bluff of those people who call for every service to be protected, even if they aren't being used. So if you are one of those people who called for a service not to be cut - here is your chance to protect it.[/p][/quote]If the City Council don't want donations from generous benefactors, it would be helpful if they'd formally advise the people of Oxford to make donations directly to the County Council. Andrew:Oxford

4:23pm Wed 15 Jan 14

JanetJ says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
CupHalfFull wrote:
at the very least it will call the bluff of those people who call for every service to be protected, even if they aren't being used. So if you are one of those people who called for a service not to be cut - here is your chance to protect it.
If the City Council don't want donations from generous benefactors, it would be helpful if they'd formally advise the people of Oxford to make donations directly to the County Council.
And would that actually help the citizens of Oxford?
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CupHalfFull[/bold] wrote: at the very least it will call the bluff of those people who call for every service to be protected, even if they aren't being used. So if you are one of those people who called for a service not to be cut - here is your chance to protect it.[/p][/quote]If the City Council don't want donations from generous benefactors, it would be helpful if they'd formally advise the people of Oxford to make donations directly to the County Council.[/p][/quote]And would that actually help the citizens of Oxford? JanetJ

5:30pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

JanetJ wrote:
Andrew:Oxford wrote:
CupHalfFull wrote:
at the very least it will call the bluff of those people who call for every service to be protected, even if they aren't being used. So if you are one of those people who called for a service not to be cut - here is your chance to protect it.
If the City Council don't want donations from generous benefactors, it would be helpful if they'd formally advise the people of Oxford to make donations directly to the County Council.
And would that actually help the citizens of Oxford?
Oxford City still forms part of Oxfordshire, the generosity would merely be shared across a wider area.

Citizens could always demand that the City Council accept donations for the benefit of Oxford.

It doesn't need to be a technical solution, there is nothing to stop you putting cash in a brown envelope and popping it through the letterbox of your local councillor. Just mark it for the cause you want it to benefit.

Just think about them sweating wondering if a journalist or their party is testing honesty...
[quote][p][bold]JanetJ[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CupHalfFull[/bold] wrote: at the very least it will call the bluff of those people who call for every service to be protected, even if they aren't being used. So if you are one of those people who called for a service not to be cut - here is your chance to protect it.[/p][/quote]If the City Council don't want donations from generous benefactors, it would be helpful if they'd formally advise the people of Oxford to make donations directly to the County Council.[/p][/quote]And would that actually help the citizens of Oxford?[/p][/quote]Oxford City still forms part of Oxfordshire, the generosity would merely be shared across a wider area. Citizens could always demand that the City Council accept donations for the benefit of Oxford. It doesn't need to be a technical solution, there is nothing to stop you putting cash in a brown envelope and popping it through the letterbox of your local councillor. Just mark it for the cause you want it to benefit. Just think about them sweating wondering if a journalist or their party is testing honesty... Andrew:Oxford

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