LETTERS From James Wilson, Newport:
AS the new independent council we elected in May begins to show its true colours (red, blue and yellow) I pick up on Jeff Manners’s letter (CP, 16-08-13) regarding the closure of County Hall.
The electorate has been fed an almighty cover-up over the Cowes Enterprise College shambles, the roads PFI continues to be a negative talking point everywhere you turn and, apart from spending a fortune on a tourist advertising campaign, I fail to see anything positive Cllr Stephens and his cronies have delivered.
Hidden in the Business News (CP, 16-08-13), I see with great interest the former head of highways, Peter Hayward, was released from his duties at Island Roads (job transferred from County Hall) to become a professional highways, transport and waste consultant.
While it is very commendable to start a business, I wonder who he will be consulting for here on the Island?
Could it be the council by any chance, or is there a vast untapped customer base on the mainland that would benefit from the wealth of his experience?
Perhaps third-world countries are crying out for this sort of thing? Perhaps a PFI in Baghdad is the order of the day ?
Central government identified the incompetence of the council and moved children’s services under the control of Hampshire but why end there? Why not move everything under the control of Hampshire?
There could be a couple of elected representatives based here, operating from their homes, to ensure any specific local issues are addressed, such as dog litter bins in parks and crossings at busy junctions, but let’s face it, we really do not need a council on the Island.
I’m sure we would have to contribute to the running of Hampshire County Council but centralisation of the majority of services duplicated here by County Hall would save a fortune.
The Island is crying out for a five-star hotel, so let’s build one on the site of County Hall and make the site pay for itself rather than being a bottomless pit.