Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Postal Vote Problems in Northumberland

Northumberland County Council have contacted candidate in the County Elections and Town / Parish Elections regarding a postal ballot printing error

Apparently a relatively small number of electors have been sent incorrect ballot paper packs missing one of the ballot papers.

In South Blyth 8 electors ( out of 1131 postal voters ) are affected.

Replacement packs will be issued. If an elector has already voted, they will have to submit a further vote, and their original one will be destroyed.

The voters can be identified by the bar code on the envelope, but not their chosen candidate(s) so the original votes can be destroyed without opening.

A third party contractor's error has been blamed, and any voter who thinks that they are affected but not identified by NCC in this exercise should contact the Elections team on 01670 624811  

Friday, 7 April 2017

VAT on private education?

The latest announcement by the Labour Party to fund free school meals for all children of primary age seems, at first glance, a reasonable one.

After all, the rich can afford school fees, so they can afford a further 20% tax can't they?

Labour say that the schools can afford it, but as a sales tax VAT has to be charged on the sales ( ie added to the selling price )

Well, look at the actual way this might work.

Any business has to register for VAT if they make taxable supplies over a certain ( registration) limit.  The VAT that that business charges becomes output tax and is passed on to HMRC on the (usually) quarterly VAT return.

But, any VAT incurred by a registered business in making taxable supplies becomes recoverable as input tax. So the business only passes on the nett amount of tax after deduction of input tax.

So, in this scenario, the VAT raised is reduced by the VAT now recovered by the school.

But, what if that school decides to build a new extension, or refurbish the inside , or buy new furniture?  Great for the suppliers of those  services, but the school will be able to recover the VAT incurred and if that capital cost is greater than the income in a particular quarter the school has a VAT repayment situation.

I know that this won't happen every quarter, but has it been considered in the announcement?

Figures that are being bandied about show that VAT on fees could raise 1.5 billion pounds in a year, but that free school meals would actually cost about half of this ( £700 million has been mentioned)

So what happens to the surplus?

This plan is a great headline grabber, and I applaud the attempt at striving for free school meals for all, but I am definitely not convinced by the practicality of it.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Easter bin collection arrangements for Blyth

As usual bin collections for the week of  Easter Monday are put back one day.

So, for instance, if your normal collection day is a Tuesday it will be changed to Wednesday.

This week ( commencing 17th April ) is a blue bin ( ie dry recyclable ) and brown bin ( ie garden waste ) week

Monday, 27 March 2017

Former Mayor's Medal

At the Blyth Town Council full council meeting last week I was presented with the pictured medal

The cost to the council was relatively minimal, and is the only reminder of the year I had as Mayor of Blyth ( except of course some memories )

It is an honour to be voted Mayor by your fellow councillors, and an honour to be given this memento of my term of office

Friday, 24 March 2017

British Summer Time

Whatever the arguments for and against the annual ritual of the change from Greenwich Mean Time to British Summer Time, it happens this weekend, at 2 o'clock in the morning on Sunday .

Don't forget the old adage .."Spring forward, Fall back"

So we put the clocks forward at this time of the year.

Mind you "Spring forward, Autumn Back" doesn't quite have the same ring ....