Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Waay-Haaay!! - The Great Tory Give-Away Continues
I've commented before on Darlington Tories' urge to promise big spending increases without having the faintest idea where the money's going to come from.
And today I read in the Northern Echo that local Tory bigwig Charles Johnson wants the Council to promise free swimming to all under 16's on the back of a national government initiative.
As you might expect, the Cabinet looked very carefully at the proposal, which would have provided money for a strictly limited period of 2 years. Whilst the scheme might work elsewhere, in Darlington it would add £175,000 to the Council Tax bill in each of those 2 years. And after that - well who knows. Presumably Charles is comfortable with the Council picking up the whole tab (£225,000 a year) then.
Of course everyone agrees that providing this service would be great for children and young people, but to propose it with out having the faintest idea where the money is coming from in the longer term is simply reckless.
Instead the Council will be working with the local PCT to prioritise spending for activities which young people themselves are asking for. Affordable and responsible. It's a shame the Tories can't say the same.