LETTER: Value for money from wardens?

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I would like to thank Trevor Leggo for taking the time and trouble to respond to my letter of 17th December 2015 and his reply of 31stDecember 2015 about wardens for Billingshurst.

In his letter he omitted to supply any details about the scheme.

His intervention on behalf of Billingshurst Parish Council (BPC) would suggest that BPC is unable to justify the proposed scheme. Perhaps BPC would now justify its decision to its residents.

Moreover, in his support, he has failed to declare an interest in the fact that his organisation (unelected) is supported by the taxpayers through subscriptions by parish councils using public money.

I wonder if Mr Leggo was looking at Ashington through rose-tinted glasses and how he measures success and value for money, based on the views of one respondent?

Indeed, after his letter appeared, several residents of Ashington informed me that their wardens use a gas guzzling polluting 4x4. Obviously not environmentally friendly.

Since the village is not too large, what would be wrong with foot patrols? That would not only be more healthy, but would encourage better engagement with residents.

They might then better appreciate what they are getting for their money and if they are happy with that.

One described the scheme at present to be an ever increasing financial millstone round their necks. Which raises questions about how the BPC would manage its performance to ensure value for money for the hard-pressed residents of Billingshurst.

That is of particular concern as the BPC, in reality, does not have a mandate from the residents as it is unelected, because despite having approximately 8,000 residents, it failed to attract 16 residents to stand for election.

So it is in office by default, which is hardly reassuring. Also since BPC has to use an outside organisation to justify its decisions, does it have the requisite skills and ability to obtain value for money from the warden scheme?

Since 2002, this warden scheme has been offered at the back door, but refused! So how does BPC know that residents want it now?

DOUG RANDS

Arun Road, Billingshurst

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