LETTER: What happened to Quango bonfire?

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I received a letter expressing concern at the expenditure on the West Street, Horsham, development.

At the Horsham District Council meeting on June 26 I pointed out that the West Street proposal ‘omits any estimates of financial return on expenditure, which the taxpayer will be funding, albeit indirectly’.

I also asked, ‘If the object is to expand business and jobs, then what alternative ways of spending around £600,000 were considered against that objective and how did they compare with this option? In other words can we show that this is the most effective way of spending the money to kick start businesses and jobs, in the District’.

The Cabinet Member concerned responded by indicating that she was satisfied that the expenditure will be justified, but has still to provide an objective cost/benefit analysis.

As stated in the letter, the £600,000 is taxpayers’ money. Indeed, as I pointed out at a recent meeting, the fund could well have started off at around £1,000,000, before ‘administration’ costs were deducted.

Also, if the benefits are going to be so good, then why have town traders not invested significantly in the scheme themselves?

It is easy for those who have not put money on the line, to speculate with somebody else’s money.

I have copied the letter to the Leader of HDC, for his attention.

Of course, similar concerns apply to the Government’s new Quangos, such as Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), which are apparently also to be funded largely by the taxpayer.

Readers may well ask, what happened to the bonfire of Quangos that we were led to expect, when this government came to power?

Instead of creating Quangos, the Government should be reducing tax and red tape burdens, encouraging our entrepreneurs to take risk and to innovate themselves, rather than by distributing taxpayers’ money by committee.

ROGER ARTHUR

(UKIP) Horsham district councillor for Chanctonbury ward, North Street, Horsham