Why not cut from the top?
CHIEF executive Steve Phillips (Evening Post, January 4) has thrown down the gauntlet to the unions regarding Neath Port Talbot Council's £21 million budget shortfall. He says everyone must share the pain yet once again it is the lower end of the scale who are being penalised.
We are constantly told "we are in it together" but never see this brought into effect, we have 64 councillors which cost the people of Neath a minimum of just over £1 million a year while the Assembly which represents the whole of Wales has 60 members. If we are "all in it together" how about a cut of at least 10 per cent if not more in our local council. I would rather lose councillors than see the people who keep our streets clean lose their jobs, or libraries close.
Why does Neath Port Talbot require two MPs when one giving their full time to represent the area would be all we require? Where were these MPs while we were losing our local hospital, Remploy and other industries. Peter Hain has been concentrating more of his time on the Severn barrage project than working for the people who elected him. I believe we, the people who pay his salary plus all his expenses, have the right to be told what, if any money, Mr Hain will be paid for his involvement in the barrage scheme.
The council have a £21 million hole to plug in their budget. Are they open enough to inform us how much they have been able to regain from their investment of £30 million in Iceland banking? At last count I understand we were still owed £8 million, yet little has been said about the person or persons who made this ill-advised investment.
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The Afan Lido burnt down in 2009, we are now into 2013 and still the council are in conflict as to where and how to replace the building. If proof was needed to show the councillors' inaptitude in the project when offered a "freebie" trip to Haverfordwest to check their nine-lane pool at a cost of £8.9 million only two out of 64 councillors bothered to attend.
Many councillors are there to work hard but we need good, forward-thinking councillors and an MP whose priority is to his voters if Neath is to survive and become a town we can be proud of again.
J C Lewis
Heol Illtyd, Caewern