The cuts shock­wave will hit us all soon

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

THERE is an un­wel­come high speed train hurtling down the tracks and head­ing straight for Ash­ford - mas­sive pub­lic spend­ing cuts. The govern­ment this week an­nounced the first £6.2bn in a se­ries of cut­backs. Sooner or later the shock­waves are go­ing to reach Ash­ford as it is ex­pected to con­trib­ute to £1.165bn in sav­ings among lo­cal au­thor­i­ties. Coun­cil staff will un­der­stand­ably worry about whether they will still have jobs in the next cou­ple of years. The pub­lic will also gen­uinely worry about how their ser­vices will be af­fected. It is ad­di­tion­ally frus­trat­ing be­cause it is still too early to say ex­actly where the axe will fall. Which de­part­ments will suf­fer? How many jobs will go? Coun­cil leader Paul Bartlett has be­gun an­swer­ing these ques­tions, say­ing that front­line ser­vices will be pro­tected and that nat­u­ral wastage will be used be­fore re­dun­dancy. It is this lat­ter point that is the most con­cern­ing - any worker los­ing their job will have an up­hill strug­gle to find an­other. There are al­ready mil­lions out of work, with the dole queues length­ened by peo­ple al­ready made re­dun­dant in the pri­vate sec­tor. Thank­fully Ash­ford will fol­low the stan­dard prac­tice of re­sort­ing to nat­u­ral wastage first, which is both wise and hu­mane. These cut­backs are un­avoid­able, so Ash­ford coun­cil should take the time it needs to care­fully con­sider where the sav­ings should be made. It must be ruth­less in fer­ret­ing out gen­uine waste. The only sen­si­tiv­ity should be for the liveli­hoods of hon­est work­ing peo­ple and gen­uinely needed pub­lic ser­vices.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.