LETTERS From Louis Lawrence, Niton:
IN view of the process in which local authorities under the Localism Act, 2011, can bid for the assets of other local authorities, it would be appropriate to remind the IW Council most, if not all, of the assets it is selling or requiring town and parish councils to bid for, were originally the property of those towns and parishes and were, at the time of unitarisation, 'expropriated’ from the community.
I am hoping the consciences of councillors, soon to be seeking re-election, will prompt them to advise their leaders the proper course of action in all these cases is to return the property they acquired in the transition and which they now cannot find the funds to support.
To seek to charge local councils for the privilege of buying back the property they originally owned is tantamount to ransom.
Public conveniences, libraries, halls, gardens, theatres, car parks, playing fields, school buildings, beaches, with those which were charitably provided, were all taken over by the IW Council without a by-your-leave or compensation, though under a former administration. The IW Council could do the honest thing and give it all back.
Most local councils would have to charge on their own precept to pay for these items, so the county could get away with what I would call highway robbery and the taxpayer foots yet another bill!