|Councillor Lister writes to Putney|
Public spending & preparing for the festive season
With the Chancellor racking up government debt to levels not seen since the Second World War it's rapidly becoming clear that the true scale of the country's economic mess is far greater than we have been told.
We are assured that more public spending is the answer. But when this has to be financed by yet higher amounts of government borrowing, the individual tax payer knows that it's only a matter of time before the bill lands on his or her doorstep.
It's why for many years now the council has had a systematic policy of cutting town hall waste and reducing municipal debt.
If you add up all the savings we have made they come to around £200m a year at current prices. That's £200m that we would otherwise have to find from local tax payers.
At the same time we have freed the council of just about all the debt on its books. It make a huge difference when it comes to setting the council tax to remove this sum from the equation.
It's a reminder why now, more than ever, it is so important that we get good value for money from all public spending. It's the taxpayer that pays in the end.
I'll be at St Mary's Church this Friday for the switching-on of Putney's Christmas lights. It promises to be a great evening with a Christmas market in Church Square.
It could be worth getting there early as local traders have joined together to produce 150 discount voucher booklets. These offer price reductions of around 20 per cent at 25 town centre stores and restaurants and will be given out from 5pm on a first come, first served basis. There will also be a prize draw at around 6.30pm.
The event has been organised by the town centre partnership and the council with the enthusiastic involvement of local businesses. Let's give them all our support this festive season.
November 28, 2008
Edward Lister is the Leader of Wandsworth Council and a member for Putney's Thamesfield ward.