Doing the right thing for residents

ON Wednesday the borough council cabinet agreed to the installation of solar panels to council-owned buildings.

The Tory group, which was so opposed to this project before the election, did not bother to attend the debate or raise any objections.

U-turns are clearly in vogue at the moment and I can only guess that, post election, they have seen the light!

This project will provide tenants with free electricity during the day as well as providing the council with a minimum profit of just under £5m over the next 25 years - a win/win situation at a time when central government is reducing the grant to the council every year.

We are committed to protecting front-line services and therefore have a duty to use the council’s assets to support this.

In a letter to this paper on June 17 Cllr West, on behalf of the Tory group, questioned the viability of the scheme suggesting that because we have to borrow the money we shouldn’t go ahead with it.

This view is both shortsighted and lacking vision. Presumably they also think we shouldn’t have borrowed the £40m to ensure that all council house tenants lived in decent homes?

There is nothing wrong with long-term borrowing as long as you have the means to repay and a significant benefit by the end, as millions of mortgage holders will confirm.

The Lib Dem administration is not interested in short-term quick fixes, which clearly the Tories favour, we prefer to think more creatively over the longer term to do the right thing for the residents of Eastbourne.

We have spent four years putting the finances in order – we are not likely to do anything now which would jeopardise this.

Gill Mattock

Deputy leader & portfolio holder for financial services

Eastbourne Borough Council