The Green Party

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Now public halls and the arts under threat from Sutton's LibDem council

Sutton’s Liberal Democrat council present their latest proposed cuts to local services (Guardian 29 August) as if it’s nothing to do with them. Yet they have frozen council tax rates for years and their party in government has enthusiastically slashed local government revenue support grants. At the same time the government continues to allow legalised tax avoidance on an industrial scale by multinational companies and rich individuals using offshore scams and other legal laundering operations to pay next to nothing to the exchequer. No wonder that soon we will have hardly any public services to show for the money we do spend. Wallington Public Hall is the last such institution remaining in the borough: ‘family silver’ (to quote Harold Macmillan) in the shape of Sutton Public Hall was demolished and sold to developers thirty years ago and we have a sterile (and usually empty) office block in exchange. That hall was paid for by public subscription and it was a betrayal of our forbears to sell it off. Furthermore, to suggest that we should close theatres and slash arts spending one the basis that not everyone uses them is an astonishing argument. Is the best vision of Sutton’s future that the LibDem regime can come up with?

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