Devil in detail

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At the budget meeting of the full council on February 17, there was much back slapping by the ruling Conservative Group on maintaining the council tax at its present level, which in itself is laudable. But, as they say, the devil is in the detail.

Emphasis was placed on how important tourism is to the town, but we now no longer have a Tourist Information Centre.

The budget for parks and gardens have been cut again. Large parts of our seafront and gardens looked drab last year – what will they look like this year? Take a trip to Rustington or Eastbourne to see what public gardens can look like. Financial competence, I have my doubts.

Perhaps the money saved is to pay for the debacle of the car parks contract – £800,000 and the future compensation to be paid to the member of staff judged unfairly dismissed by a tribunal for his alleged part in the contract.

Tucked away in the budget report was a warning that the outstanding repair and maintenance bill for council property was over £5million and growing. Neglected maintenance always cost more in the long term. Financial competence?

A large number of local projects have stalled because of a shortage of staff, combine this with a grant of £46,000 to West Sussex County Council, to enable a camp for travellers to be constructed in Chichester, on the premise they will not set up illegal camps in Worthing, but will go to Chichester. We shall see.

The coalition Government continues to weald the big stick to local government funding with its consequent negative effect on services to residents, while continuing to fully fund the EU budget, £55million a day, and the International Aid Budget, £1billion pounds a month.

Worthing tax-payers amongst others, are picking up the bill for this unnecessary expenditure, whilst our health service, schools, roads, doctors surgeries, dentists etc., continue to be underfunded.

I offer these as observations. It is for us all to judge.

Pauline James

Downview Road

Worthing

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