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Letter: Council Spending Should Not Be A Popularity Contest

Published on: 30 Jan, 2021
Updated on: 30 Jan, 2021

From: David Roberts

In response to: GBC Executive Agrees Budget But Cites Future Challenges to be Faced

It is right that public survey results should “inform the savings strategy”. The question is: how?

Difficult budget choices must be made, but budget allocations shouldn’t be a popularity contest. Arts, parks, heritage and public toilets may score few public votes but often have no alternative source of funding.

It could be argued that, far from cutting these services, public money should be prioritised for areas of market failure where it can play a unique role and make the biggest difference. Communities are built on their cultural capital.

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test 2 Responses to Letter: Council Spending Should Not Be A Popularity Contest

  1. Dave Middleton Reply

    January 31, 2021 at 10:39 am

    However, the money the council spends is our our money, given in local and national taxation, so is it not right that we should have a say in how it is spent and how that spending should be prioritised?

    As ever, when funding has to be reduced, the first cry from certain quarters is, “what about the Arts?” when frankly, I suspect the majority of the population would prefer the money to be spent on the basics, such as education, health, social care, affordable housing, adequate public transport, keeping our roads and pavements in good order, street lighting functioning, etc.

    Perhaps harsh, but my view is that all of these things are more important than the arts when it comes to funding.

  2. M Durant Reply

    January 31, 2021 at 9:01 pm

    I agree with David Roberts. If you have an elitist, disastrous system of capitalism unhealthy practices occur in the private sector. Such a system, left unchecked, perpetuates or exacerbates the same inequalities and the general public ends up paying for them.

    On the whole totalitarian states, are devoid of the Arts, as portrayed by George Orwell in his novel “1984”, or they just produce Totalitarian Art, ie art for a political ideology. I really hope we are not heading that way.

    The Arts are the soul of a country.

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