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Letter: My Advice to Councillor White

Published on: 16 Feb, 2022
Updated on: 18 Feb, 2022

From: Richard Mills

Vice-Chair (Policy) Guildford Town Centre Conservatives

In response to: It Is Conservative Funding Policy That Is Causing Borough Council Cuts

There was a sad inevitability about the response of Cllr Fiona White and her Liberal Democrat colleagues to criticism of their recent budget.

First, the crocodile tears: Honest, guv, we really love public toilets, we love Citizens Advice Bureaux, we love the Yvonne Arnaud…

Then the usual blame game: as always it is the fault of the wicked Tories seeking to control public expenditure, just because there is a global pandemic; or the last Labour Government, just because there is the onset of a global financial crash.

I hesitate to intrude on Ms White’s fantasies but could I suggest to her and her colleagues a few simple measures that might help end her party’s psycho-drama:

  • they could make a modest call on the reserves previous Conservative administrations have helped to build, at least to support public toilets, the most basic social amenity, through the next couple of difficult years;
  • they could start managing the borough’s affairs effectively. They could avoid more losses from panic sales of council property – like the £3 million loss incurred on sale of the Liongate office building;
  • they could actually spend all the resources central government does make available to them – like the £2.5 million handed back because of non-delivery of a sustainable transport project;
  • they might even conclude that it was sensible to retain more of their own staff and not spend the outrageous sum of £21 million on consultants and agency staff that they spent last year.

If none of this offers ready money quickly enough, they might simply come clean with their R4GV partners and tell them this is not the time to spend more than £1 million of consultancy funds on a new Town Centre Master Plan, a vanity project which even the lead councillor for Resources acknowledges will cost a fortune and take many years to complete.

 

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test 0 Responses to Letter: My Advice to Councillor White

  1. Catherine Davies Reply

    February 17, 2022 at 9:12 am

    Spot on. The Liberal Democrats say what they think the public wants to hear knowing that they will never be in power to have to implement it.

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