Together 4 Rutland
Call for Candidates

Together 4 Rutland was formed out disillusionment of the direction in which local and national politics were travelling. Too many politicians were thinking of themselves first not the country and not our county. We do not feel this has changed as we continue with a Council failing to make the difficult decisions required in these difficult times.

We want to make a difference, and we simply want what is best for Rutland and it’s residents. As a Group, we are constantly challenging policies and decisions and questioning if this is the best future for our community.

Next May you have the chance to be part of that process. You have the chance to make a real difference. May 2023 will see elections for a new Council within Rutland, and we would like to hear from like minded individuals to stand and help us make Rutland a better place.

You really can make a difference for your community and Rutland, and we would love the opportunity to discuss how you can join us to make this happen.

If you are interested, please email us at mail@together4rutland.org, so we can contact you to talk you through what being a county councillor is all about, and answer any questions.

You can make a difference, but by being involved can you make a better future happen.

June Fox   Nick Begy   Paul Ainsley

 

Council Tax 2023/24

Earlier this month, Rutland County Council issued a statement about their plans to achieve financial sustainability, which basically means balancing their books by 2027/28 (details can be found on this link)

The original paper put forward by the Cabinet was requesting council approve a maximum rise in council tax for the next 5 years. Together 4 Rutland supported a motion to overturn this and remain with the existing policy for setting council tax in February of each year. We are concerned in the in the current climate an automatic tax increase at the maximum allowed by government would be a large burden on residents without considering the implication each year.

Fortunately, this amendment was agreed and Council will be discussing what the budget should look like, including the Council Tax level, between now and the end of February.

We would like to hear the views of you, the taxpayers of Rutland, as to what level of Council Tax increase you would believe to be appropriate recognising that the Council is facing  increases in demand for many of its services and inflationary increases which the Council is facing like many of you. That could range from 0% to the maximum allowed by government of 5%.

The Council, regardless of the Council Tax increase, needs to find further savings and the sooner the better. So which areas of Council expenditure would like to see cut, remembering that we a legal duty to the community to deliver services such as Adult and Children’s Social Care, Road Maintenance, Buses to transport children to school, etc.

Together 4 Rutland were formed to take politics out of Rutland, and want to do what is best for residents, not just to win votes. We fully understand the pressure households are under and will work tirelessly for the best outcome for all.

We want to hear your views, so get in touch.

Armed Forces in Rutland

Introduction

Cllr Paul Ainsley, a member of the Together4Rutland Group, is the County Council’s Armed Forces Champion. During a recent Council meeting, he updated Council Members on his activities and the support that Rutland County Council provides to our armed forces, both serving and veterans.

His Majesty’s Prison Stocken

On Wednesday, 17th August, Cllr Ainsley and our Armed Forces Officer Ian Reynolds visited HMP Stocken to meet two prisoners, Baz and Pete, who, as veterans, are championing the approximately 50 veterans in prison.

Baz and Pete deliver information days and advice sessions to the veterans’ prisoners’ group under the guidance of Lindsay Beadnall, the prison equality officer.

They are enthusiastically embracing the preparations for Memorial Sunday in November. They are hopeful that the veteran’s group will be able to participate in the act of Remembrance in Oakham through a display of approximately 1,000 poppies made by the inmates.

Loughborough Veterans Wellbeing hub

Recently Cllr Ainsley and Ian Reynolds visited the Loughborough Wellbeing hub during a veteran-specific wellbeing session. The Armed Forces Covenant Fund funds the Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Veterans Wellbeing Hub with the aim of offering advice, support and guidance.

They met with Councillor Rami Mahal, the Harborough District Council Armed Forces Champion, Brendan Daly, the Armed Forces Lead for the LLR NHS Trust and Helen Carter, the Chief Executive Officer, Loughborough Wellbeing Centre.

Paul and Ian intend to work actively with Cllr Rami Mahal, Helen and Brendan as we seek to establish satellite hubs for Lutterworth and Oakham. The initial well-being sessions in Oakham will be held in rooms kindly made available by the Whipper Inn. We want to take this opportunity to thank the Whipper Inn for their very generous support.

Merchant Navy Day

A flag-raising ceremony to commemorate all who work at sea, both past and present, was held outside Oakham Castle in August to mark Merchant Navy Day 2022.

We must recognise the sacrifices and dedication of those brave and often unsung individuals within the Merchant Navy community, past and present. It was Paul’s honour to attend the flag-raising event, and we were particularly pleased to see so many residents come out to show their support.

Armed Forces Covenant Project Board

In early September, we held the inaugural meeting of the Armed Forces Covenant Project Board. The Government has now published the Armed Forces Covenant Legislation Guidance, which will likely come into legal force in the Autumn. The board will ensure that we adhere to the legislation as we move from guidance to a more formal legal obligation. Fortunately, in Rutland, we are well down the road of meeting the legislative requirements because we have always supported our armed forces colleagues.

Our Armed Forces fulfil the responsibility for the realm’s defence on behalf of the Government. They sacrifice some civilian freedoms, facing danger and, sometimes, suffering serious injury or death as a result of their duty.

In summary, the requirements of the Covenant are:

We will have a legal obligation to the members of the Naval Service, the Army and the Royal Air Force and their families to ensure that they are supported in seeking housing and medical treatments.

Those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in providing public and commercial services. It is important to remember that the covenant does not seek to give an advantage but rather to ensure a level playing field.

However, special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given the most, such as the injured and the bereaved.

Paul believes it is an honour to work to support our Armed Forces and Veterans Community and to recognise the contribution that our Armed Forces Community makes to our businesses, our county and our country.

At a Glance Guide to Cost of Living Support 2022

Should you require further assistance or have any questions then please contact Citizens Advice Rutland.

Name of payment How much?
All are grants
Who is eligible? When and How?
Energy Bills Support Scheme £400 per household

 

All households with a domestic electricity meter Via energy suppliers

over 6 months from

October 2022.

Direct debit and

credit customers money

credited to their account.

Pre-payment meter Customers – money applied to their meter or paid via a voucher.

Pensioner Cost of Living Payment £300 per

Household

 

(8 million pensioners)

Must be over State Pension age (aged 66 or above) between 19 – 25/9/2022 and be receiving the

Winter Fuel Payment.

 

Automatically as a top-up to the annual Winter Fuel Payment in November/ December 2022.

 

For most pensioner

households, this will

be paid by direct debit.

Cost of

Living

Payment

£650 per

Household

(paid in 2

instalments of £325)

(8 million households)

Households on certain means tested benefits (see below) as at 25/5/2022 for the first instalment.

Entitlement date for the second instalment will be announced.

Means Tested Benefits:

Universal Credit

Or 5 Legacy Benefits (JSA(IB), ESA(IR)/

IS/ WTC/ CTC) or

Pension Credit

 

Automatically paid

by the DWP in 2

instalments, the

first in July 2022 and

the second in

Autumn 2022.

HMRC will pay a little

after this to avoid

duplicate

pavements.

Disability

Cost of

Living

Payment

 

£150 per

Claimant

 

(6 million claimants)

Claimants on DLA/ PIP/ AA/ Scottish Disability Benefits/ Armed Forces Independence Payment/ Constant Attendance

Allowance/ War Pension Mobility Supplement

at 25/5/2022

Automatically in September 2022.
Council Tax

Rebate

 

£150 per

household

 

For households in England in Council Tax bands A-D. (most households)

 

Those who pay Council Tax by direct debit will be paid

automatically into their bank accounts from April 2022.

Those who do not pay by direct debit will be contacted by Rutland County Council and invited to make a claim.

Household

Support Fund

payments

 

Variable

Amounts – discretionary

An extra £500 million of local support, via the Household Support Fund, will be extended from this October to March 2023. See the following FAQ for further details and how to apply.

 

5 Year Housing Supply and Uncontrolled Developments

Rutland County Council published their updated report on the County’s 5 Year housing Supply which can be found on the link https://www.rutland.gov.uk/my-services/planning-and-building-control/planning/the-local-plan/housing-supply/

It is encouraging to note that, despite our general pessimism, the 5-year supply has improved to 4.1 years leaving us about 129 homes short to meet the 5-year target. However, in looking at the development sites included in the calculation, there is a significant number of homes which are missing where applications have been approved by the RCC Planning Committee, but because the Sect 106 agreements have yet to be finalised with the developers, these developments cannot be included in the calculations.

The sites in question are

Location Application Number Net Housing Comment
The Crescent, Ketton 2020/1262/MAF 15 Additional homes not in 5 yr supply calculation
Luffenham Rd, Ketton 2021/0751/MAO 16 A/w Sect 106
Park Rd, Ketton 2020/0942/OUT 75 At appeal – not to be contested
Whissendine 2021/1263/OUT 66 A/w Sect 106
Braunston Rd South Oakham 202/1473/MAO 62 A/w Sect 106
Langham East 2021/1334/RES 18 A/w Sect 106
Langham west 2021/1423/MAO 50 A/w Sect 106
 Uppingham Road, Oakham 2021/0794/MAF  80  A/w Sect 106
Total 382

 

If only one-third of the above homes could be delivered by the end of the 5-year period, we would be very close, if not ahead of the 5-year requirement.

T4R has proposed to the Portfolio Holder Cllr Rosemary Powell and RCC Director of Places, that in the best interests of the County, extra resources should be added to the Council’s Planning team to ensure that all the above Sect 106 agreements are completed as quickly as possible and certainly before the next time the 5-Year housing supply is calculated in September this year. This will then allow us to revert to the Local Plan spatial strategy and significantly reduce the risk of inappropriate development

We have also proposed that a new agenda item be included at future Planning Committee meetings to report progress towards the completion of Sect 106 agreements on all major applications.

Letter of Support to Cabinet

Yesterday we wrote to the new Leader of Rutland County Council wishing them well in their new roles, and our full support in areas we feel of greatest importance to Rutland residents. We are looking forward to working with the new alliance to deliver the best for the residents of Rutland.

Dear Lucy,

On behalf of T4R, we would like to wish the new Cabinet all success over the coming 10 months. There are many hurdles in front of you, but we trust that with this new alliance, you can make a real difference for Rutland’s residents.

We are sure you will be pleased to hear that the T4R Group will support all actions that the Cabinet take to address what we see as the main concerns of residents. The principal concern is obviously delivering the required cost savings, and we have every faith in and fully support the work Karen is undertaking, and look forward to being part of this process.

Next and maybe number one in the eyes of residents is planning. We all understand the position we are in, but ask that the new Cabinet should make a clear statement about the current position around uncontrolled development before the new Local Plan is put in place. We are pleased to hear that Cabinet will be considering an Interim Planning Statement although we are disappointed to learn that it has been put back to the June Cabinet meeting in the Forward Plan. In our opinion, the approval of this statement needs to be the next highest priority after the savings. What is clear, we need strong planning leadership to ensure we maintain what control we do have.

Our physical infrastructure, especially medical facilities are under the greatest strain, and we support any move to deliver that much needed Infrastructure as quickly as possible. Again a clear statement to the residents of Rutland would be welcomed by everyone.

Finally, when considering the findings of the recent Primary Care T&F group, we are keen to understand the progress of the Group’s recommendations following the adoption by the Rutland Health and Wellbeing Board.

With best wishes

Gordon Brown
June Fox
Paul Ainsley
Nick Begy

Launch of Vision and Objectives

Today, just 7 days since being created, Together4Rutland has launched its vision and key objectives which can be found at Vision and Objectives

The Vision will be to work with all the Councillors and Officers in the County Council to deliver quality, efficient services.

Our immediate and key objectives are

      • Housing in the right place and the right size for young families
      • Medical Facilities to meet the needs of residents across the County
      • Seek the Council to deliver speed reduction measures in our towns and villages
      • Continue to push the central government for improved funding to help protect services and deliver the new services required by law.
      • Better engagement with you our residents.
      • To seek improvements to the appearance of Oakham High Street
      • Make sure we are prepared to support those most affected by the cost of living increases

We will continue to develop our ideas and if you want to hear more please sign up to our Facebook page at Together4Rutland

Together4Rutland – a new approach to working for Rutland residents

Launch of Together4Rutland

 

On 22nd April 2022, Cllrs Gordon Brown, June Fox and Nick Begy resigned from the Rutland County Council Conservative Group. They will continue as County Councillors and will form the new Together4Rutland  Group on Rutland County Council to focus on supporting the residents in their Wards and across Rutland.

In recent months, the three councillors have become increasingly concerned with the direction of travel of the Conservative group, and as backbenchers have felt marginalised, finding it harder to provide the support for the residents for whom they took up public service to help.

In addition, they cannot continue to support the national Conservative party on moral grounds, with Ministers and senior MPs having lost the respect of the public and failing to recognise the serious financial position of Rutland County Council caused by a lack of government funding compounded by additional burdens from new legislation.

The new Group feel that now is no time for party politics in local government in Rutland and wants the opportunity to openly question policy which impacts all residents and not just follow the Conservative party line. The three councillors look forward to working together with all members of the Council to avoid unnecessary political arguments and remembering why they hold these privileged positions. They are hoping that the other members of the County Council will agree with this position and look to join with the new Togther4Rutland  group to achieve the best outcomes for the whole of Rutland.

The new Group has also been joined by Cllr Paul Ainsley, who left the Conservative Group shortly after the HIF vote at the end of last year.