Town suffered at Howe's hand
THIS week has seen release of the Central Policy Review Staff documents from 1982, when Margaret Thatcher and Geoffrey Howe — her chancellor — jointly proposed a radical plan to dismantle the welfare state.
The plan included compulsory charges for schooling, a fundamental reduction of public services and effectively the end of the National Health Service.
This is the same Geoffrey Howe (now Lord Howe of Aberavon), who, in 1981/83, as Thatcher's chancellor, drove through policies that devastated parts of the UK steel industry, as well as other manufacturing sectors.
Howe was born in Port Talbot, though he left to go to Winchester public school and Cambridge. Some years ago, Port Talbot councillors, some of whom were themselves steelworkers, conferred on Howe the Freedom of the Borough.
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Traditionally, this is an honour given to a person who it is felt has rendered significant service and benefit to a town.
Port Talbot, a steel town for generations, suffered badly from the Howe policies, with many jobs lost and massive redundancies.
What would the redundant steelworkers and their families now say about the council decision to make Howe a Freeman?
I would like to suggest that Neath Port Talbot Council give serious thought to withdrawing the Freedom of the Borough from a man whose decisions brought such damage to the town.