Cold Ashby Blog/Open Forum
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County Council Cuts
by Ashby Rambler - 11:58 on 17 March 2018
Although The Rambler (and probably many others) cannot help feeling a sense of ‘poetic justice’ operating in the approaching demise of our County Council, he is nevertheless appalled at the situation in which residents of Northamptonshire find themselves.
Here in Cold Ashby some of us fought long and hard to get the existing sparse bus service which, according to this post from our Parish Council, will shortly disappear yet again (for the back story on this please go to Views and Comments).
The local library at Long Buckby is threatened either with closure or some sort of ‘community ownership’ and was initially closed on every day but Thursday. It now appears to be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays only. The Mobile Library Service has been cut.
Our Council Tax has increased and, in the mailing informing us of this increase we discovered a leaflet explaining that our brown bins will only be emptied if we cough up an extra £35 per annum and put an official sticker on them – apparently councils are not legally required to deal with garden waste!
But what about the other services, in addition to Public Transport and Libraries, which the council has a legal duty to provide such as Education, Children and Young People, Adult Social Care, Public Health, Environmental Protection, Highways, Traffic Management and so on?
Officially, there is no ready money for these services because Central Government’s ‘austerity’ programme has starved councils of money for years – and this might have been an unwelcome but partially valid excuse were it not for the £53m spent on a new HQ (opened in October last year), the missing millions loaned to the Cobblers by the Borough Council and, above all, the damning verdict of the government inspectors which clearly rejects the ‘austerity’ excuse.
Unlike the inspectors, The Rambler has no expertise in, or knowledge of, financial management and so would not presume to pass judgement on past decisions by a County Council in that area.
He would, however, question whether the provision of shiny new council offices (which he understands may now be offered for sale) is any recompense for the loss of 21 local libraries and local bus services.
(Sourced from BBC News, Northampton Chronicle & Echo, The Guardian).
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