LETTER: Understand the bigger picture

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I write concerning the article in the County Times of February 2, and Councillor Donnelly’s comment concerning additional costs on to the council tax, “It’s like a blunderbuss or a shotgun; it’s a little bit of an unsophisticated way of doing it.”

Surely when costs are rising in the services provided by the local authority, how else do they recoup the expenditure? Ask for a handout, voluntary contributions – no the cost of the council tax rises to cover costs.

Cllr Donnelly stated that he went into great detail. He states that bringing in new rear loading bin lorries and fortnightly collections will save around £1m.

Forgive me, but a few years ago did we not have rear loading bin lorries, and then the introduction of side loading bin lorries? This was to cut down cost and personnel for collection of refuse.

So the saving that we had before has now been reversed by going backwards in reverting to rear loading bin lorries. Also families who do have greater waste will find it hard to manage fortnightly collections and we will see more rubbish strewn across the district as bins overflow and more fly tipping takes place.

This fly tipping will increase council and environmental costs in clearing up the refuse. So where will the saving be then?

With regard to rural car parking charges - ‘a carefully thought out strategy’ - has the local authority not taken into account the loss of revenue to smaller traders in the area, this will cause local shops to cease trading and empty shop units and then the business rates (which have I understand recently increased) will not be collected by the local authority. This of course cannot be a saving.

At least if some clawback of costs of running ‘the expensive rural car parks’ is required, why we could not have the first hour free and then have charges such as WSCC rural car parks around Chichester have adopted.

They seem to have taken on board the nature of preserving local businesses and considered the impact of car parking charges as soon as a vehicle is parked.

I would like to see Cllr Donnelly’s evidence to suggest that there would be no damage to the local economy by bringing in these car parking charges.

I think over time that impact will hit not only local residents but extra costs to the local authority in policing the car parks and local roads and loss of revenue as business close.

Our councillors seem not to understand the bigger picture in agreeing these charges as a knee jerk reaction to central government cutbacks without considering other options.

Yvonne Park

Downlands, Partridge Green

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