Let's go back to the start

Friday, January 10, 2014

 

LETTERS From Louis Lawrence, Niton:

HAVING seen your report on the budget trimming to be discussed by the IW Council, it occurred to me the previous administration must be greatly relieved it did not get re-elected.

Not that I blame the present incumbents at County Hall.

When I retired to the Island 20 years ago, it was to a place where the political landscape was made up of parish, town, borough and county councils. They all seemed to work in a harmonious fashion, with clearly defined responsibilities.

Then came the unitary council project and since then, it has been nothing but strife.

Perhaps it is time to review the whole situation.

Under the unitary system, which we were assured would bring economies of scale and efficient management, we have had highly-paid top executives coming and going at great expense, consultants on astronomical fees, roads pitted with holes and our future mortgaged to a PFI deal, public property sold off at £1 a throw, the school system disrupted, some services provided from the mainland, libraries under threat, tourism disrupted by lack of toilets and planning decisions that have left town centres high and dry.

Now, what little is left of our council services is under threat.

We should return to a similar structure to that before the unitary system, where the county would be a skeleton service for dealing with over-arching matters, such as roads, ferries, issues with the utilities over flood control, land management and environmental services.

If it is up to government to make changes, then let the Local Government Association start representations.

It sure as anything is not working at the moment.

• More letters on this topic in the Friday, January 10, County Press.

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