MIKE Watkins (Letters, December 4) questions why BCP Council faces such severe budgetary pressures.

He suggests the formation of BCP Council is to blame and there is a little truth in such a view.

He is however incorrect saying that council officers were “campaigning” to create BCP Council.

It was the then Conservative administrations of Bournemouth Poole and Christchurch who campaigned to create BCP Council. They promised us vast savings with the new council, savings adding £44 million to the new council’s annual finances.

Yet this £44 million figure was, shall we say, an egregious error which the Conservatives refused to recognise.

The prospect of this new council also scotched all plans to improve the efficiencies of the existing councils.

When BCP Council was finally created under the Rainbow Alliance, modernisation projects were soon identified with saving for the council possibly of £42 million.

But then the Conservatives snatched back control and they somehow managed to ignore these modernisation projects although they did unwisely use all of the £42 million to magically balance the budget.

And when magic failed them, the Conservatives then resorted to borrowing and raiding council reserves.

Strangely, the Conservatives still seem to deny they did anything wrong. Yet the financial reality is what it is and requires balanced budgets.

The new Lib Dem-led administration is now faced with a decade of serious Conservative misrule and a very short time to put it all right.


Bloxworth Road,