Thursday, 20 March 2008


I will start today's blog with a few positives before I descend into anarchy. I have been lucky enough to dine out twice in the last week, firstly at Barzeegco, a lovely little restaurant run by local chef Chris Zessmides and his family. Chris was present to cook me a carb loaded meal of cheese omlette, chips and peas. As I had not had chips for a while they were partculary enjoyable and I felt more than justified in my indulgence. Last night I went to Positano with my mum where I was treated to a fantastic seafood risotto full of garlic and chillies and accompanied by great customer service (pictured top left), I highly recommend both restaurants.

Now onto a more serious note that has deeply affected my stress levels: On Tuesday I opened my mail as usual only to find that my council tax bill had increased way beyond the rate of inflation, I was horrified at the amount I was now expected to pay and my husband and I discussed it at some length over Breakfast. It seems that the leaflet accompanying our tax bill contained some interesting reading aside from the smiling picture of our council leader Vivien Pengelly the rest of the literature was less smiley. It seems if we join a religious group that is dependant on the community we may be council tax exempt or perhaps if we have a load of kids, quit work and get a council house we would then also be exempt. I see that some of our council tax will be spent on improving council houses, apparently a government intiative states that all council houses should have updated double glazing and central heating, what a shame the rest of us aren't guaranteed such luxuries.

To add insult to injury the next letter I opened was my business rates, again vastly over inflated. What exactly do I get for my business rates? I certainly don't get my bins emptied for that 'luxury' I would have to pay an additional £150 per month even though I only create a bin the size of a carrier bag and the rest is all recycling. I don't get street lighting as I am situated in a service lane so have to provide the external lighting myself. I don't get street as the road is cobbled. I don't get street cleansing, if there is a problem with rubbish in the lane I have to report it (Imagine several failed phone calls telling me to call back later, an awful holding system and only 50% chance that when I get through someone will actually action my complaint, if you live in Plymouth you will be more than familiar with the council holding systems). I could go on but I wont bore you any more. I am sue that many of you feel the same about our current system, I have no problems with paying taxes if they are spent correctly and are fair which does not seem to be the case. Let's face it I really do get nothing for my business tax apart from the right to trade, I have to provide my own insurance, risk assessments, staff training etc and then find the extra extortionate amount at the end o the month for my business rates.

Anyway that is it for today, I have far more exciting things to think about and future blogs to plan, thanks for listening to my moans and whinges, Have a great Easter weekend and don't eat too much chocolate

Stay Healthy,

Sam x


AmyTree said...

That meal looks really tasty! I'm going to start following your recommendations - I seem to be really good at finding the BAD restaurants... :-)
I'm off outside to clean up the storm damage in the front yard - have a lovely weekend m'dear - see you on Tuesday. xxx

Glamourpuss said...

Yes, my council tax has gone up again. I think what's most annoying is that there is no consultation process and no accountability. Bastards.