While other councils are consulting their council tax payers, it is disappointing to note that it would appear Worthing Borough Council is not going to consult Worthing residents on whether their council tax should be allocated to benefit claimants, regardless of the length of time they have resided in Worthing.
The situation may arise where Worthing has no residency test, but surrounding councils do, and this may result in a migration to Worthing for council tax benefits.
On July 16, at the last full council meeting, I made a proposal that claimants should have resided in Worthing for a period of five years, before being eligible for council tax benefits. However, this foundered on a constitutional technicality. As was reported in the Herald, mayor Cllr Bob Smytherman said “it is not a matter for this council.” I profoundly disagree. A meeting of Worthing Borough Council is the very place to debate, discuss, and make decisions on the rights of our citizens to be consulted, when it will be their council tax which will be allocated to benefit claimants.
Councillor Charles J.E. James