LETTER: Farce and tragedy of charges

West Sussex County Council, a shell of its former self, aims for small government and anticipates further financial reductions.

Horsham District Council gleefully mops up a substantial profit from its green waste charge. Alternatively, it seems, a modest increase in the Council Tax could have met the cost. Now, those who have taken up its ‘offer’, willingly or not, will pay something like three times as much. Farce is being underwritten by tragedy.

Both councils give sustenance to the cynics who have no time for politics and the fantasists who regard all government as a curse. Unless there is a major change of heart and direction, elected representatives may find themselves in the role of deck chair attendants on a sinking ship.

A letter from 150 Council leaders in a Sunday national newspaper argues that for ‘many councils, new funding cuts in 2015/16 will lead to a significant reduction in, and in some cases even loss of important local services’. Clearly, the signatories are fearful of the consequences of perhaps a further 10% reduction to add to the 33% already required. Neighbouring councils have supported the letter and its claim that ‘In the next spending round, local government finance must be put on a sustainable footing’.

Neither Horsham District nor West Sussex Councils is listed and it would be useful to know why. Each will need to demonstrate in detail how they will respond if further reductions are demanded.

Erik Shopland

Denne Road, Horsham