Friday, 15 June 2012

My letter to KM- "Them and Us" politics in Medway

Chris Sams
Sturdee Avenue
12th June 2012

I must say I am a little confused by Councillor Jarrett’s piece in Party People (8th June) about justifying the Mayoral dinner as a worthy expenditure.

Firstly he seems to be comparing the celebrations to that of the Jubilee. It seems a bit of a dud comparison to me as the entire nation joined in with the celebrations with street parties, boats down the Thames and an overall outpouring of National pride and jubilation. For the Mayoral dinner it seems that only the elite of Medway’s Councillors are going to celebrate Councillor Hewitt’s election and can show civic pride.

I agree that Medway Council does have a large budget and that ultimately the amount of money, under normal circumstances, would be a trifling affair. However these are not normal circumstances. The Council have already made cuts to services, lest we forget Nelson Court dementia home, and had some really amazing over spends such as Stoke Crossing and the Bus station to name just a few. If Councillor Jarrett’s slogan “Better for less” is indeed what the Council is striving for how can they now justify another, albeit small, splash from the public purse for no one else’s benefit but their own?

Now, I’m not going to “bah-humbug” the whole idea, I agree with Cllr Hewitt that sometimes celebration is needed to lift spirits but why can only Councillors get to celebrate and we, the ones who are paying for it, get to sit outside and read about it in the press? (edited out) It merely perpetuates a “Them and Us” attitude that is unhealthy for politics and a seeming insult to voters at a time of austerity for what the average citizen will feel is a frivolous event.

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