WITH the resurgence of Conservative leadership to Herefordshire Council, there is the revived prospect of a £300 million spend on the Southern Link Road.

Remind me, what was the cost of Maylord plans for local library that they claimed would leave a financial black hole in the council’s finances? At what cost to poorer people’s services?

The overall narrative from Conservative autumn conference is that poor people should pick themselves up by their bootstraps. In Herefordshire, I have read that there is a Herefordshire Disability United, though they might as well not exist for all my attempts to contact them.


In my personal experience, austerity started before the 2008 banking collapse. That led to reduced funding from local authorities to local disability charities. In 2017, the Government declared that community centres should operate more like businesses in their hall renting charges, and less like charities.

That later led to the bankruptcy of at least one community centre under lockdown, yet former Belmont councillor Tracy Bowes and volunteers have kept Belmont Community Centre running. And I can report that Herefordshire’s council tax offices are apparently in meltdown, even before that £300 million outlay. The standard text on a form for council tax reimbursement says that payment will be delivered within 21 days. I posted such a signed and completed bank details form over May Bank Holiday weekend.

What are your thoughts?

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No response. Sent further copies by hand delivery (June 26) and Royal Mail recorded delivery (early August), still no response.

My September 8 emailing of revised copy to council tax offices still elicited no response beyond email auto-reply and is now (from October 3) being investigated by new ward councillor.

Are Herefordshire’s privatised services in meltdown already?