What Council Taxes are really spent on
Violent assaults and serious antisocial behaviour are lower priorities for councils than stopping people smoking, town hall targets showed yesterday.
Despite a government poll showing community safety was voters' overwhelming priority, anti-crime initiatives will not be the main focus of authorities.
Details published yesterday by Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary, set out the targets picked by each local authority — and agreed by her department — to be their future priorities. While performance will be measured across the whole range of 198 indicators, targets will be set only for the 35 chosen as top local concerns.
Jobless 16-18 year olds, reducing teenage pregnancy, providing housing, protecting the environment and cutting child obesity were the five selected by most councils. While reducing “serious acquisitive crime” such as thefts from cars was sixth, cutting the rate of “assault with injury” was 13th and domestic violence 20th.
Considered a higher priority than both by most councils were stopping smoking and boosting the numbers of local people “who feel they can influence decisions in their locality”.
No wonder the
Local Government Association is giving councils posters to counter what it says is an unfairly poor public perception.
It hopes they will help educate people on what their council tax is spent on.
Except the posters try and persuade us that the Councils concentrate on useful things like cleaning the streets, rather than the councils nannying us to stop our kids eating chips and screwing.