I wanted to attend the council meeting on Wednesday to discuss the budget but couldn’t due to work commitment.
The UK is a wealthy country and Sheffield a wealthy city. That’s obvious for anyone who observes the city restaurants, bars, casinos, gyms, theatres, football grounds, property papers.
Sheffielders have disposable income, to which they are largely entitled and good luck to them. But, we are all in this together and that shouldn’t be used as an excuse to withdraw essential services, rather the reason council tax bills should increase. A council has the responsibility to provide for its citizens, and therefore is required to fund services. If this can be done by increasing council tax then it must. Making ‘cuts’ does not actually save money, it simply causes people to emerge elsewhere, to under-equipped services who feel pressurised to cope. I have worked for the council since 1990 and have seen cuts to older people’s services and now see the disgraceful impact of cuts on other vulnerable people.
I worked in mental health when a decision was taken to save money by cutting beds. Two years down the line the chief executive admitted that that decision had actually cost more money.
The long-term plan to save, and to then reduce council tax, is to invest in adequate services. Vulnerable people will become more independent and there will be less impact on carers, who otherwise themselves then turn to services.
There is a simple decision to make, we either agree to complain about high council tax, or we agree that vulnerable people are not worth it. I accept that higher taxes can cause difficulties, but the reward is the profile of your home city and the pride that we believe each citizen is valid.
Foxhill Road, S6