Axe 'business development' spending, say residents

Bucks Free Press: Axe 'business development' spending, say residents Axe 'business development' spending, say residents

AXING money spent promoting business in the county is the common theme emerging from the 'Bucks Debates', residents were told today.

Taxpayers have been saying the £520,000 'economic development' budget could be slashed at a series of 'interactive' meetings on public spending cuts.

Cllr Bill Chapple, Deputy Leader at Buckinghamshire County Council, said at the High Wycombe debate this morning this was the area householders say could be cut.

Economic growth, which includes promoting business in the county, said to be an 'entrepreneurial heartland', has been put forward by residents at “every meeting”, he said.

The public meetings so far have faced criticism for low turnouts.

25 took attended today, taking part in group exercises looking at budgets, and a question and answer session, at High Wycombe library at Eden.

Cllr Chapple told residents the kind of decisions the council faces “really does search the soul”.

“It's not a game, it's deadly serious. What I wanted to make sure is that you have been part of this,” he told residents.

He said although he would “love to multiply” attendances by 100, it did not 'demean' the meeting.

The idea of merging the councils into one single authority was raised again.

It comes after the Free Press were told last week by BCC Chief Executive Chris Williams that £35m could have been saved per year, if the option had been taken up when researched four years ago.

(See related articles below).

But Cllr Chapple said, although he had been in favour, he could not now “re-write history”.

The majority of those who attended this morning felt it was a genuine consultation, not merely a PR exercise, when asked by Free Press Editor Steve Cohen, who chaired the meeting.

Sue Jones, who works in learning services for BCC, said: “I though it was a worthwhile exercise and gave us greater understanding of how difficult it is to work out where and how to make the cuts.”

William Schafer-Peek, 24, an unemployed translator, said: “I think it's part of a softening up process that there's going to be cuts and the idea there's nothing we can do about it.”

He said he disagreed with the level of cuts and added the council tax system is “seriously flawed”.

The new Government has pledged to freeze council tax for at least one year – giving authorities no choice but to make cuts and savings.

Downley resident Roger Lawson, retired, said: “I thought it was a genuine consultation and quite hard work (doing the group budget cuts exercise). The quality of the opinion and discussion was quite good.”

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:28pm Mon 13 Sep 10

wycswan says...

It would have been nice to have more notice and more than one meeting in the centre of Wycombe. The second being at a more suitable time, then perhaps there would be a greater attendance.
As it is when the council tell us we had a chance to have our say, it will not be strictly true.
It would have been nice to have more notice and more than one meeting in the centre of Wycombe. The second being at a more suitable time, then perhaps there would be a greater attendance. As it is when the council tell us we had a chance to have our say, it will not be strictly true. wycswan
  • Score: 0

8:56pm Mon 13 Sep 10

tigeran says...

I say increase the spending for business development which is exactly what we need, and slash welfare to absolute bare minimum for only people that REALLY need it and not for someone who's grandfathers long lost cousin three time removed stub their toe once so as a result they cant work, and sort out the scroungers!! get them all to work even if it is cleaning streets, make them earn their money like everyone else!
Cant stand benefit scroungers!!
I say increase the spending for business development which is exactly what we need, and slash welfare to absolute bare minimum for only people that REALLY need it and not for someone who's grandfathers long lost cousin three time removed stub their toe once so as a result they cant work, and sort out the scroungers!! get them all to work even if it is cleaning streets, make them earn their money like everyone else! Cant stand benefit scroungers!! tigeran
  • Score: 0

9:18pm Mon 13 Sep 10

J B Blackett says...

I went to the library and could not get in !
.
The BCC office in Easton St had no record of a BCC 'cuts meeting' to be held in the library ; that was at about 1200hrs.
.
They just said the library was shut on a Monday and either I had the wrong venue and possibly the wrong day !!!!! - that's all.
.
I feel let-down and totally frustrated by the whole 'democratic' fiasco.
.
What's going on ? Thanks a lot BCC.
I went to the library and could not get in ! . The BCC office in Easton St had no record of a BCC 'cuts meeting' to be held in the library ; that was at about 1200hrs. . They just said the library was shut on a Monday and either I had the wrong venue and possibly the wrong day !!!!! - that's all. . I feel let-down and totally frustrated by the whole 'democratic' fiasco. . What's going on ? Thanks a lot BCC. J B Blackett
  • Score: 0

11:12pm Mon 13 Sep 10

ivor says...

Only 25 people turned up. If the meeting had been held on a Saturday afternoon in the Town Hall there would probably have been 250!
~
If they want to save money then stop holding sham meetings at a time when only the unemployed and retired can attend....
~
Have you read Ivor’s blog today? Click on the “BLOGS” link at the top of the page.
Only 25 people turned up. If the meeting had been held on a Saturday afternoon in the Town Hall there would probably have been 250! ~ If they want to save money then stop holding sham meetings at a time when only the unemployed and retired can attend.... ~ Have you read Ivor’s blog today? Click on the “BLOGS” link at the top of the page. ivor
  • Score: 0

1:02am Tue 14 Sep 10

J B Blackett says...

ivor wrote:
Only 25 people turned up. If the meeting had been held on a Saturday afternoon in the Town Hall there would probably have been 250!
~
If they want to save money then stop holding sham meetings at a time when only the unemployed and retired can attend....
~
Have you read Ivor’s blog today? Click on the “BLOGS” link at the top of the page.
I'm not unemployed or retired and I tried to attend , but thanks to BCC was thwarted. Read the flipping posts , for Pete's sake.
[quote][p][bold]ivor[/bold] wrote: Only 25 people turned up. If the meeting had been held on a Saturday afternoon in the Town Hall there would probably have been 250! ~ If they want to save money then stop holding sham meetings at a time when only the unemployed and retired can attend.... ~ Have you read Ivor’s blog today? Click on the “BLOGS” link at the top of the page.[/p][/quote]I'm not unemployed or retired and I tried to attend , but thanks to BCC was thwarted. Read the flipping posts , for Pete's sake. J B Blackett
  • Score: 0

9:14am Tue 14 Sep 10

billsheppard says...

The total attendence may have been 25, but 10 of those were councillors or other council officials! I went to an anti-cuts meeting in Aylesbury the other week and twice as many people turned up, everyone got a say and it certainly wasn't costing rate payers £500k to carry out an exercise of getting members of the public in the mindset of "robbing Peter to pay Paul".
The total attendence may have been 25, but 10 of those were councillors or other council officials! I went to an anti-cuts meeting in Aylesbury the other week and twice as many people turned up, everyone got a say and it certainly wasn't costing rate payers £500k to carry out an exercise of getting members of the public in the mindset of "robbing Peter to pay Paul". billsheppard
  • Score: 0

3:33pm Tue 14 Sep 10

hondo says...

I was there from 09.50 till 12.00 and apparently the cost was £500???
Where were you JBB? Wrong planet?
I was there from 09.50 till 12.00 and apparently the cost was £500??? Where were you JBB? Wrong planet? hondo
  • Score: 0

6:55pm Tue 14 Sep 10

J B Blackett says...

No - at the main glass doors of the Bucks CC Library at the Eden Centre in High Wycombe Monday 13th am. Is there a close-by planet with a similar set-up ?
.
It would appear the BCC staff in the High Wycombe of the Council in the branch off Easton St had not even heard of the meeting either. At least it was not on the schedules /agendas on their computers.
.
Someone's not apparently communicating with their staff (allegedly). It's probably the fault of the head of the Drunk Driving Dept or the BCC chairperson
No - at the main glass doors of the Bucks CC Library at the Eden Centre in High Wycombe Monday 13th am. Is there a close-by planet with a similar set-up ? . It would appear the BCC staff in the High Wycombe of the Council in the branch off Easton St had not even heard of the meeting either. At least it was not on the schedules /agendas on their computers. . Someone's not apparently communicating with their staff (allegedly). It's probably the fault of the head of the Drunk Driving Dept or the BCC chairperson J B Blackett
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree