Thursday, May 20, 2010

More from the River CC discussion of budget cuts on Tuesday night

Here's a few more extracts, once again you can't mention the subject of cuts in Nairn without the Swimming Pool coming into the equation.
Carol Clark:
‘All the community care services have already gone through cutback after cutback after cutback. They’ve done it so much over the last few years that I really can’t see how they can cut it back any further. '

Graham Marsden (he seemed to have the lion's share of this part of the meeting, here's a couple of the most important things he perhaps said)

‘Can I make a suggestion Mr Chairman? Maybe if you got someone to come along from the Highland Council to just talk about the things that you are asking about. The cutbacks and what has happened in Social Work etc, and yes I am a councillor but the fact is that I’m not a financier and I’m not deeply embedded in how the money is spent on a day-to-day basis so from that perspective if you would like somebody from Highland Council to come along to your next meeting and talk to you and actually respond to your questions and give you some of the kind of information that you are looking for’

‘I think there is an awful lot of stuff that people believe, I mean, one of the things is about the middle layer of management, if you get those out. The problem is, it is not that simple as you might imagine.’

‘Something like 50% of the money that Highland Council spends is on pay.’

‘Can I just interrupt? The point about this consultation document is really to get some feedback because the reality is, if we as a Council, come forward with cuts which is what this has done, I mean it’s about getting peoples’ response. How do you feel about your library, how do you feel about your swimming pool. How do you feel about, sort of, ever other street light being turned off. These are the sort of things. It’s about bringing these into the public forum Not next February or January when, this budget is next February so there’s lots and lots of time. It’s just like choosing sort of which is the worst. Really there’s nothing positive about it. We have made the cuts and you’re right it probably is a case of saying that OK you guys know what you are doing, get on with it but cut our swimming pool and we will lynch you. '

‘I think this is where really where we’ve been looking at things like the Swimming Pool, if the Council didn’t own it for instance and it went into, I don’t know, some sort of trust, then VAT could be claimed back and also Council Tax wouldn’t have to be paid so there are the sort of things that we as councillors are looking at at the moment.'

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