Tuesday, 26 April 2011

A Question of Priorities

Tuesday 26th April

I read a letter this morning in this week's 'Camberley News & Mail' and felt compelled to write. It may not be published by the newspaper, but herewith the letter.

"A Question of Priorities

Dear Sir,

I sympathise with a great deal that Mrs Williams has to say specifically regards the economic challenges currently facing Bagshot (Letters, April 22nd), although I sense her formidable memory has omitted the manner by which rosettes of all colours have supported - and continue to support - the interests of Bagshot.
Regrettably for Bagshot, the situation is as described: an ever decreasing circle, fast becoming a 'ghost town' as businesses - and banks - depart, causing residents to similarly look elsewhere for local amenities.
Indeed the case of the library, which will require significant local support in terms of users and volunteers in order to remain open come September, has in many residents' eyes become the last straw, with closure - if it comes to that - becoming another reason for visitors to go elsewehere. If it sounds bleak, it's because it is. Another 'destination facility' at risk adding to that sense of impending doom. Having discussed this with residents and local volunteer groups I remain hopeful that a community sourced solution can be achieved, but the future is not yet certain. This cut might yet hurt.

However, the cuts must be taken in context. Notwithstanding the looming scandal of just how much of one's council tax is spent elswhere in the COUNTRY and Mrs Williams' concerns about 'ring-fenced' funding at County Hall, the County Council is having to make substantial savings in the face of savage cuts to the central government grants. It is not only the library budget being scrutinised - most budgets at the CC have been reviewed and let me confirm - no cuts are popular. But if cuts are deemed necessary once all budgets have been reviewed, then I personally would rather see them in areas where the community can have a chance to fill the gap, as in the case of the library and part-time volunteer requirements, rather than in areas such as Children's Social Care, Vulnerable Adults etc, where the community frankly, cannot.

Best Regards

Stuart MacLeod CC

County Councillor representing the Surrey Division of Windlesham, Bagshot & Lightwater


No comments:

Post a Comment