“Hobson’s choice cut or cut?” says East Devon Alliance councillor Cathy Gardner

“East Devon’s MP wrote a column for the Sidmouth Herald (“View from Westminster”, 12 Jan 2018) saying that that as a District Councillor I “will be tested” by “funding pressures”. I am indeed very unhappy about the cuts made to all public services due to the “choice” made by this government to pursue austerity. We should consider why our representative in Parliament has always made the “choice” to vote with the government on austerity cuts while publicly speaking out against bed cuts in London (Brompton Hospital), not East Devon.”

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All Councils have had their government funding drastically reduced. There is no sign that this funding will ever return, leaving our infrastructure to deteriorate. EDDCs controlling party made a “choice” not to increase council tax for five years and proudly crowed about it, thus reducing the amount available in the coffers to help fund services now.

EDDC are looking at ways to cut even more and I will be asking for essential services like free and unrestricted access to public toilets to be protected over things like art galleries. Don’t get me wrong, I would prefer not to cut anything at all, but public toilets are a public health matter and must be defended. Youth services should also be prioritised as money spent there tends to be saved elsewhere in the system. These are the “choices” that the District Council faces. We will see what the controlling Conservative group chose to prioritise when the budget is approved at the end of February.
Cllr Cathy Gardner, East Devon Alliance and ward member for Sidmouth town

Source: East Devon Alliance Facebook page posted today