Time to cut and help strugglers

PUBLISHED: 02:01 07 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:13 10 June 2010

In Exmouth and most other parts of the country, there are many who are now becoming not only energy poor, but generally unable to cover their costs of just living in an increasingly hostile climate, due to the decline in the economy. Surely the time has c

In Exmouth and most other parts of the country, there are many who are now becoming not only energy poor, but generally unable to cover their costs of just living in an increasingly hostile climate, due to the decline in the economy.Surely the time has come for all councils to take heed of the plight of these people as the time quickly approaches when the first meetings will be held prior to recommending their budgets for the next financial year. Although the final recommendations will not be put to the members for about another five months, now is possibly the right time to be flagging these problems, to make sure that they are included in the discussions.Is it in the light of the present, and possible long term, decline in the national economy, time for the local councils to take a close look at the enjoyable but probably unnecessary events and policies that are generated by them in the pursuit of increased trade in Exmouth? Can the local (town) council be justified in continuing to spend the residents' money propping up a declining town centre with large sums of money spent on town management, and the expanded festival, which are, after all, mainly directed at safeguarding the business community by increasing their opportunities to increase their trade?Simply by reducing the funds expended as budgeted items for town management, the festival and the TIC by 50 per cent could reduce the Exmouth precept by about £39k - much of which is paid as salaries. In addition, removal of the unnecessary, new-this-year, £30k development fund (£5k per ward plus £5k) could increase that to a huge £69k saving next year.Sadly, I feel that, despite all of the problems facing the residents, there will be little hope of these points being effectively addressed by predominantly "networking" councillors who are to make the decisions. To a large degree our fate rests in their hands... until the next election, when it may be too late to help many of us.Ron Roberts,10 Littlemead Lane, Exmouth.

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