THE mayor’s letter (News Guardian, January 12) asked us all to give a feedback on the council’s budget strategy, stating various details.
A figure of £47.5m stated, but the word ‘efficiencies’ was mentioned a number of times also, a not entirely suitable word, in my view.
I have to suggest that any efficiency is in the eye of the beholder, and any council staff may not see this as efficiency.
A programme of ‘out sourcing’ and ‘privatisation’ is under way, which may not be appropriate, and also the use of common services hired from Newcastle or Northumberland may not prove to be very efficient at all if they do not have the time and familiarity to deal much with North Tyneside.
The same week (News Guardian, page 21) restated the £47.5m figure, and the word efficiencies, along with another doubtful word, ‘savings’.
Being unemployed is not very efficient, I found.
The same edition also stated a few related issues – closing libraries, the ever increasing costs of travel and health services, and various such, all making it more difficult for ordinary people, without trying to wade through anyone else’s budget.
There are some useful strategic moves in the pipeline, such as an extra fee for garden bin use, an extra fee for any parking permit over a ‘single’ vehicle, and various reductions in street flower displays.
However, the privatising of public toilets, or selling off of their sites for a change of use, may not be considered too ‘useful’ by the residents and hoped for visitors, along the coast.
The article on the Cullercoats toilets in particular is not understood as these were featured for rebuilding/enhancement as part of the £1m-plus scheme now under way for Cullercoats, part of £3m or so for coastal works?
As an older, somewhat disabled person, toilet difficulties arise, often.
The call for the public, and councillors of all parties, to set aside their own issues in the interests of North Tyneside is, I am told, ‘a bit rich’, by officials I know, but I do hope this will not prevent constructive inputs.
Perhaps my own referrals of ‘inconsiderate parking’ generally, damaging of pavements and grass verges, might be seen as a totally unnecessary drain on council funds to repair these, in so far as they do get repaired.
Cases of compensation that arise?
The council’s use of voluntary work, by interested members of the public, is quite useful and very economic, providing it is adopted where possible, otherwise interest will disappear.
MR A M JOHNSON