LETTER: This false choice does not stand up to scrutiny

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David Tutt obviously thinks Eastbourne residents are turkeys and we won’t vote for Christmas. Well, on the basis of the options set out in the Eastbourne Review, come the next election they will not be voting for Cllr Tutt’s undemocratic LibDems either.

What a false choice we have been given. Forced by public opinion into a course of action they feared, their ‘referendum’ question would not stand scrutiny by the electoral commissions of the most backward of countries.

Sell your heritage or we will punish community groups by halving your grants. As for charging £50 per annum for green waste, the historical take up at £25 per annum was low, and the charge was only abolished to improve the borough council’s woeful recycling performance, so that can only be seen as a hollow threat.

I was surprised to learn that reducing street cleaning and grass cutting saves £700,000 a year and am staggered that the council are not doing this already given we are at the workhouse door, allegedly.

If the council had not tied itself up in knots contractually savings might have been available through fortnightly black bin collections. This is the administration which wants to play at property development but cannot see the value in retaining an asset which has increased in value from £24 an acre in 1936 to £5,000 to £10,000 an acre in 2013.

As for the inducements in the form of shiny new projects, why is the council taking credit for Sovereign Harbour Innovation Park. This is a regeneration project funded by Sea Change Sussex a successor body to South East England Development Agency and is not a council initiative.

Have they no shame! They will be claiming credit for the pier improvements next. Finally, the much vaunted question and answer post on the council website states that capital receipts must be spent on capital projects, yet apparently a successful sale of the farms will remove the necessity of cutting £1.1m a year of revenue expenses. Some creative accounting needed?

If we need to face increases in council tax and cuts in non-essential services as we navigate through temporary financial headwinds so be it. Let the council offer us choices on these matters but not at the expense of our downland heritage. Vote for revenue reductions and challenge the council to justify them and to identify cost saving efficiencies within the organisation. Something the Conservative opposition should be screaming from the rooftops.

BOB WATTS

Vancouver Road