Single authority necessary, never mind single site

Date: Monday 22nd January 2018

Sir, Eden district councillors debate the merits of spending

£2 million on a new town hall building to save some pennies and make work conditions better for staff. Oh, dear.

Never mind the state of our road surfaces, markings, street signs, police budget problems, and the general destruction of our infrastructure due to “austerity”.

We’ll do a big vanity statement to save pennies that costs us pounds “because we can”. We’ll pass debt on to our children, easy.

May I suggest a simpler solution? Unitary authority. There, easy, wasn’t it? One centre for all, one debt shared and no need for half thought out changes later.

A single authority with one building and far fewer councillors, also satellite, clean, warm, town centre information offices with some privacy for customers and high speed technology to answer any query; cheap, efficient and easy, low staff numbers, the economies of scale. Only common sense and good will are needed, plus a huge dose of humility from those already elected.

It could be placed on an industrial estate with low rates and lots of parking space for staff and visitors, a steel-frame modular design, cheap to build and run, easy to access from modern main highways. No “palace” for the future needed.

All that is needed is to demand that the councillors we elected to represent us vote to reduce their numbers, relinquish some power in the name of modernity and efficiency and start to represent we council tax payers instead of aping national MPs and politics.

Save on expenses, running costs, wages, rates, buildings, plus less voices disagreeing. Win on the increased total budget, freedom to employ highly trained staff and no longer tied to importing expensive “experts” every time a decision is needed.

Have those at Penrith Town Hall and Mansion House the vision? The wisdom? The commitment? Will they start to behave as modern businessmen? Watch the press. Yours etc,

JOHN DUMONT

Penrith.