What cost in keeping council tax down?

PUBLISHED: 13:00 22 November 2007 | UPDATED: 13:04 04 May 2010

I ATTENDED the meeting in the council chambers the other day where the Conservative councillors had the opportunity to rethink their strategy on the proposed cuts of 40 per cent to the ADeC budget. Despite a petition of more than 1,300 names in support o

I ATTENDED the meeting in the council chambers the other day where the Conservative councillors had the opportunity to rethink their strategy on the proposed cuts of 40 per cent to the ADeC budget.

Despite a petition of more than 1,300 names in support of ADeC and many impassioned speeches from other councillors and members of the public, the Conservatives refused to budge from their decision.

They appeared to be making these cuts based on the findings of a survey they carried out, which revealed that 48.7 per cent of the public wanted less spent on 'arts'.

However, they seemed to be only picking the data out which suited them because a far higher percentage wanted cuts in spending for councillors and committees (76.9 per cent), administration of the council (70.8 per cent) and early retirements (61 per cent).

When asked if they proposed to make the same proportionate cuts to these other budgets, no one was prepared to give an answer.

In the same survey, 51.2 per cent of the public said they wanted the same money spending on tourism and museums and 22.2 per cent said they wanted more money on leisure.

Surely, going to the cinema, the theatre, a musical event or visiting an art gallery could all fit into categories of either tourism or leisure?

Yet, this is what ADeC offers, among many other things, now and if Ely residents want to keep them, then they should let their elected representatives know before many of these wonderful facilities disappear because of lack of funding.

In the future, the Conservatives may boast that they have kept the council tax down, but one has to ask, at what cost both to our quality of life and the vibrancy of the city?

TED CONEY, Waterside, Ely

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