Tax payers are counting cost

April 23, 2009 3:12 PM
By Cllr Karen Chilvers in Brentwood Gazette - letters page
Cllr Karen Chilvers

Cllr Karen Chilvers

Budget decisions made by our local Conservative council administrations show that Lisa Ford's plea to them to "stop wasting public money" (Wednesday 8 April) was absolutely spot-on.

For instance, in addition to the aforementioned glossy brochures that have landed on your doormats, you will probably have received a letter from two Tory councillors with your recycling bags. The £1,000 cost of which was borne by us, the residents. A small but needless spend that should have been put into our front-line services - and who hasn't been told that if you "take care of the pennies, the pounds will take care of themselves"?

More alarmingly, many roads and pavements across Brentwood went un-gritted in February's snow, with Brentwood and Shenfield high streets left as skating rinks and some roads rendered impassable. Essential staff, such as medical professionals, were unable to get to work. Not surprising as the budget for gritting across the county was just over £2.5million. However, the Marketing and PR budget was £4.8million - the ninth highest spend in the country.

Seventy five per cent of your Council Tax goes to ECC - do you really want it to be spent on glossy brochures, high-priced conference venues and advertisements in the press and on billboards?

The poster on Shenfield station

The Tory-promoting poster on Shenfield station, at odds with Cllr Lewis' "Twitter" updates

No doubt, in the lead-up to the County Council elections on Thursday 4 June, you'll see many Essex Council advertisements but my favourite one is on Shenfield station, attempting to demonstrate how the A12 traffic problems have been resolved by them. I noticed this advertisement a few days after I had been following Cllr Brandon Lewis on "Twitter" (10 March 2009), travelling between Great Yarmouth and Brentwood, bemoaning the traffic delays on that very road

Seems even Tory councillors struggle to believe their own taxpayer-funded hype.

Cllr Karen Chilvers

Brentwood West Lib Dem Councillor

and County Council Candidate for Brentwood Rural Division