As the election campaign gets under way, one has to ask ‘why do we need a county council?’ and is it an administration that is ‘fit for purpose’.
It is always interesting in the lead up to elections to see the WSCC press announcements that extra money is to be spent on pothole repairs or for the arts.
A thorough examination is needed of the county council organisation particularly in regards to highways, welfare services, education and emergency services in this age of ‘localism’ - whatever that means.
Sussex Police cover both East and West Sussex and has the one commissioner.
Surely the administration could cover all emergency services with co-ordination with fire and ambulance and dispense with the county administration.
Highways have not delivered a major road improvement scheme in 20 years and many residents see a serious deterioration in the road structure with the poor supervision of contractors carrying out maintenance.
Surely East and West Sussex should have one Highways body overseeing Class A and B roads with maintenance of class C and D roads and public rights of way devolving to district and possibly even parish councils.
Cuts have been made to provisions for the young and old – welfare services are fast disappearing and a purpose-led body could be set up for the overseeing of these matters.
There are some 6,300 staff (excluding schools) and 71 councillors with a budget of some £500m per annum.
Do we really need this organisation and its costs primarily located remotely in Chichester with an offshoot in Horsham?
Surely we should ask the candidates exactly what they have achieved and the difference they have made to our lives over the past four years and what difference they will make to our lives in the next four years.
Why do we need them and WSCC?
ANGUS FARQUHAR FRICS
Byfleets Lane, Warnham