Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Cuts and Double Standards

As the deliberations over Carmarthenshire Council's budget cuts rumbles on I was rather disappointed that the Council should blame those pesky 16 year olds and their free school/college buses for pushing up council tax. Shouldn't they be encouraging youngsters to further their education - free transport, particularly for low income families is a deciding factor as to whether they send them or not especially in the more rural parts of the county, they can't exactly hop on a bus, after all, our local County Councillor claims around £2400 a year in travelling expenses...
Incidentally, the thorny question whether to charge Blue Badge holders to park has been deferred, apparently lawyers are being consulted as there are so many Councillors who will have to declare an interest they won't have a quorum.
Anyhow I leave the last word to Mr Ray Jones, resident of Llanelli who sent me this;

I recently read two articles in the Evening Post which strikes me of double standards and spin from the Council.
One article covers 450 redundancies which the Council hope will be covered by voluntary redundancies or natural wastage.
Natural wastage means that there will be less employment down the line for our children who already find it extremely difficult to find employment now.
How wonderful that the "Officers" have agreed to a "pay freeze" anybody earning over £100,000 can afford to be generous, all we have to look at now is how much their expenses will rise.
Ask Mrs Gravell to catch "public transport" to her place of work like the rest of the population, and not be chauffeur driven everywhere all around the County, ask her to bring her own "packed lunch" and make do with scraps.
The Council want £25 million of cuts over the next three years, how ironic that, that is exactly the amount our very secretive council have admitted Parc-y-Scarlets cost "the tax payer", even though Chief Executive Mark James told us in his now famous statement that "the stadium won't cost the tax payer a penny"
I consider that the real cost in land sales, lease, preparation costs etc. make the figure more like £53 million. How many council services have been moved into Parc-y-Scarlets and are paying rent for the privilege of doing so, when there are brand new offices in Llanelli's North Dock laying empty.
The Council loans have seen the rate cuts for them cut in half and remember the capital sum will not be paid back until 15 years time, when presumably the "goalposts" will be moved again so that "they won't have to pay a penny" is this what the famous quote refers to.
How much have the Council paid in grants out of the £800,000 for the new "Pumphouse Restaurant" in Llanelli's North Dock.
A restaurant which it was "plugged" twice in commentary live on BBC Television Wales v England Rugby International, that Stephen Jones and Dwayne Peel who own it, and will give a "speedy service"
Mrs. Gravell also believes that we have to many "Care homes" and that places like St Paul's in Llanelli who we are told only has 4 residents must close, she is backed up by Pat Jones Executive Board members who has responsibility over the closures.
Well if we have to many, why not utilise the spare capacity of these places by relieving our Hospitals and the disgraceful amount of "bed blocking" that clogs up the system, or is that to easy a solution.
And while we are on the subject, is the CEO of the Hywel Dda Trust taking a "freeze" in his £175,00 per annum post ?
Prime Minister David Cameron states that we are all in this together, yes we are in it to take all the cuts going and suffer everything, and "they" (the rich, and we have many of those in this Council) will sacrifice absolutely nothing.
"Prime" means FIRST and that is what "they" are putting themselves.
Ray Jones

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