while Sheffield councillors are infuriating residents by removing key waste and green waste services to save around £1.45m (a paltry sum compared to the total budget) they plan to throw £12m away on the busted flush that is ‘Digital Region’.
This is clearly a failed project, its progenitors totally misunderstanding the telecommunications market. The result is that instead of super-speed broadband service being used by 1.5m residents, probably fewer than 10,000 use it. As it’s already cost £100m of public money, we have a right to judge that no more should be spent. They originally planned to put services in areas that had poor broadband. Unfortunately they served urban centres first. Now they’ve run out of money, so there are still areas where the service is dire.
There is a solution: hand it over to British Telecom who will no doubt do a brilliant job and allow Sheffield council to pay for our waste collection services.
Everyone a winner!
It’s a pity Coun Trevor Bagshaw failed to tell the whole truth (Feb 20) when he accused Labour of funding favoured areas. Due to his Government’s massive cuts, all our Community Assemblies were required to take their share of reductions (his area had to find 26.45% out of the discretionary budget, Central Area 25.17%, East 26.04% and North East 26.30%). However, Coun Bagshaw, in trying to prove a political point, adds in his own government’s Community First money, which recognises that there are areas suffering multiple deprivation. It is his government’s own Quango that allocates money to certain wards. None of this money goes to the council or indeed community assemblies, but to independent groups. Unfortunately his government deemed only five of our seven assemblies have wards that qualify.
By all means Trevor, complain that it is unfair, but please direct your anger at the true culprits – your own government.
Coun Peter Price, NE community assembly chair