Monday, September 19, 2011

#dalefarm : Len Gridley had tax reduction due to travellers !

More Villagers Will Launch Tax Appeals 30. 6. 2005

Hundreds of Crays Hill villagers look set to launch more council tax appeals following the success of a neighbouring businessman who had his bill slashed. Len Gridley's Oak Road property, which backs on to the illegal Dale Farm traveller camp at nearby Oak Lane, was dropped from council tax band E to B - an annual saving of more than £500 following a legal win on Monday.

The Valuation Tribunal Service agreed that since the site grew his home has dropped from £450,000 to £125,000.Ramsden Crays Parish Council chairman David McPherson-Davis, and Crays Hill resident, spoke on behalf of up to 450 residents today who he believes will fight for similar revaluations. He said: "This shows how we have been affected and are the underpriveleged in this situation.

"We will wait and see if there is an overall review of the village and if we are not happy we can appeal. Lots of people have constantly spoken about the value of their property being affected and are unable to move away as a result. The Government now has to be prepared for a national backlash as police, fire, county council and local authorities see a fall in revenue from lost council tax."

The Valuation Office Agency accepted the decision to re-value Mr Gridley's Council Tax banding, but said it was too early to say how it would approach the rest of the village. A spokesman said: "We are currently investigating a possible reduction for approximately 12 other properties in the vicinity. Once these are assessed the situation can be reviewed."

Basildon Council leader Malcolm Buckley admitted if appeals were won in Crays Hill and also from properties bordering illegal plots at Hovefields, Wickford, council cash could be lost, but he claimed the number of homes affected was not enough to have a significant effect across the district.

Travellers at Dale Farm also spoke out over the decision. Resident Kathleen McCarthy said: "Now Mr Gridley has got what he wanted and lowered his tax, we ask he stop all this bitterness against us and leave us in peace to live our lives. This is why he has spoken out against us to get his tax reduced."

(Newsquest Media Group Newspapers)