Dear Sir, It was a relief to see the letter in your paper titled ‘Leopards don’t change their spots - says Ratepayer’ It’s good to see that others are as concerned at the financial climate generally and its effect on the Borough.
It may well be that this is a good year for the Borough as Councillor Stevenson states but at what cost? (He seems adamant not to answer the questions asked in previous editions.)
Councillor Stevenson states in one article that the DUP have been instrumental in setting the rates locally for the last 13 years, yet in a following statement he says ‘This year I have identified £115,000 (worth) of savings in the council budget…’ two questions come to mind;
If you identified these savings this year when times are tight what was happening over the last 13 years when times were good?
Did none of your DUP colleagues have input as to these savings? (Oops, sorry Councillor, I see in your previous letter you and your colleagues were all in it together. (That’s putting the savings together - nothing else.)
Of course it must have been a slip of the pen having I instead of we.
As the Ratepayer letter states, we will see the claims of ‘we did this’ and ‘we did that’ and Councillor Stevenson doesn’t disappoint. In his ‘Stevenson hits back at the Milk Cup critics’ he does point out all these good things that are going to happen in the Borough although he has skewed his language to ‘Dervock and Megaw Park may soon face substantial investment….’ And in a later statement saying ‘…with money set aside to potentially enhance the pitches at Dervock and to rejuvenate Megaw Park…’ Is this the get out clause?
At the same time he still does not say how any of this is going to be paid for. The Auditor’s letter of Jan 2011 states that the council intends to borrow another £3.3 million (at least) on top of the £9.9 million already owed.
So the simple questions to Councillor Stevenson and the other DUP Councilors are: Is the Council presently £9.9 million in debt? Is the Council having to borrow another £3.3 million because of decisions made in Riada House?
These questions are relatively simple. The answers should be also.
Councillor Stevenson states ‘There is no point in continuing debate through the press, as I do not deem it to be an exercise which will be of any benefit.’
Of benefit to whom? Perhaps he should ponder the point that there are roughly 21,000 potential voters in the Borough who might like an answer.
The press is an open forum that is to both educate and inform the public of matters that might otherwise not be known, so come on Councillor. You have written twice to the paper avoiding the questions asked. The information is in the public domain so the explanations should be too.
To quote the letter from the ratepayer ‘ It shows an ignorance of the gloomy financial climate we are in and is quite honestly disrespectful to our intelligence.’