Yet again, as Councillor James (Worthing Borough Council) whips up anti-European sentiment - by equating the lack of new roads, reductions in government grants to county and the loss of flowers in our local parks - we are told that there is clearly only one possible explanation for our woes; all those taxes being sent, daily, to the EU Commission in Brussels.
It must be true, mustn’t it? – We read it, seemingly, almost monthly in some authoritative letter sent to the local press. However, are we being offered one-sided, political views or is this all just a mud throwing exercise?
So, some facts retrieved from the WSCC website (Community Funding Support website for the West Sussex area – 11/07/13); the European Growth Programme for 2014-2020 will contribute €6.2 billion to England as ‘part’ of the UK’s funding from Europe. Of this, the South East obtains €185.9 million as part of the European Social Fund. Additionally, from the 2nd House of Commons Report (2012-13) on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) “ since 2004, England has benefitted with £8 billion support grants for local economic development and growth”.
Some of that has already appeared within the Arun and Worthing areas.
There are numerous, other data available on-line all in the public domain.
While we may agree that there is a continuous need to review the workings of all our democratic systems (local, national and European) - finding a common ‘enemy’ in the EU, and not keeping balanced or informed views, serves us little gain for handling a very uncertain future.
United we stand – divided…? I know what gets my vote.
Dr Fred Shaw
St Thomas’s Road, Worthing