Further to comments made by Mr Paul Courtel regarding Bexhill councillors on ESCC voting for Bexhill casting aside political loyalty, I can assure him and your readers this is something I and my fellow independent councillors do all the time.
I was elected by people not any political party I promised to do my very best for them at both RDC and ESCC on issues that affect their lives.
Having had considerable experience in managing money and resources I feel it is my duty to point out that the austerity faced by every individual and organisation forces changes and efficiencies that are at times very difficult and painful, these undoubtedly will impact on every resident in some way from adult social care, children’s services, poor pavements and roads very little escapes the axe when the money runs out.
Those who represent you can only spend what they have, my choice of priority may be different from another councillor but whatever our choices may be, the ultimate responsibility lies with those who are the majority group.
The ambitions and needs will always exceed the money available, so difficult choices have to be made by those elected and given the responsibility to govern.
By the time this letter is in the public arena these decisions will have been made, it is a fact of life that the only political group that has approached me as an independent is the Conservative group, so sadly I was unable to share and examine the other party’s proposals prior to the meeting.
It is a fact that you cannot spend more than you have without getting into debt, so we have to take expert advice on the best way forward from professional officers to minimise the risk of harm to the most vulnerable while maintaining acceptable services for all.
The one thing we all agree on is, we would all like to spend more on the things that really matter, every elected member has a duty to eliminate waste and bad management and yes with hindsight we do make mistakes, but the man who didn’t make any mistakes didn’t make anything.
I am passionate about Bexhill, yes we would all like to see improvements in some areas, but we must live within our means, and make best use of the resources we have.
Our future prosperity will depend on improving, educational achievement, jobs while providing good affordable housing for all generations, all achievable if as a community we restore ambition and pride in where we live.
Yes we need better roads, better pavements, better public services but we will only afford that when the local disposable income starts growing for every family.
I am sure there will be those who disagree with my point of view, but that will not stop me doing my best, out of debate will come best ideas.
We must promote the good things we have while trying to improve all the areas that need help and support.
As we are short of money perhaps we should stop wasting money on things that are not essential, I will leave you to create that list, I am sure many of them we will agree on.
Cllr Stuart Earl
RDC St Mark’s
East Sussex County Council Bexhill West Division
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