Nothing totally free

NORTH Somerset Council's ruling Conservatives want to cut costs. There is nothing wrong with that. Most council taxpayers would agree. However, nothing worth having comes totally for free.

NORTH Somerset Council's ruling Conservatives want to cut costs. There is nothing wrong with that. Most council taxpayers would agree.

However, nothing worth having comes totally for free. That's their problem. They seem to think that public services can be run at a profit and should cost nothing.

The museum is a case in point. It costs money to run. It doesn't make a profit for shareholders or private business. In that sense it is just like the pavements and the parks and even the air that we breathe. It is there for us all to enjoy, not to make money.

But Conservative councillors don't buy that. They would rather sell-off Burlington Street (presumably for another housing development), put the museum collection in storage and open a profit-making 'visitor attraction'.


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Goodness knows, we could do with some new visitor attractions. But should the museum be one of them? Because of course, profit-making is code for 'costs you more'. Entry prices will be higher, refreshment prices will be higher. So we'll pay more for a sorry excuse for a museum. It doesn't make sense.

Conservatives talk about removing 'the subsidy' for the museum. Make it pay its own way. Well if we're in the business of removing subsidies, how about removing the subsidy for councillors? They currently cost us more than �750,000 a year. That's fives times more than the museum.

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How about reducing the subsidy for senior council officers? There are four on more than �100,000 a year, costing us more than �500,000. That's three times more than the museum.

Or what about not moving hundreds of council jobs to Clevedon? In return for the �15 million wasted on that vanity project, you could pay for the museum service for another 100 years.

Not for the first time, this anti-Weston council has not thought things through and we will all be left worse off as a result.

MIKE BELL

Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate

George Street

Weston

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