SEVERAL contributors to Have Your Say have complained recently about the untidiness and neglect of our local area, as well as the shocking reduction in the number of public toilets.

Theirs is an understandable and I think justified lament, but alongside it should be placed the main factor that explains the change – the astonishing reduction in the funding of local government during the past 15 or so years.

We live in a parliamentary democracy and the main party of government has promoted a policy of making such reductions.

For the most part that party has been successful in both general and local elections.

I do not say it is a good or a bad thing, I simply point out the reality – in England in general, and in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in particular, a majority of us has in effect voted in support of massive cuts to local government spending, with the inevitable consequences of reduced resources for local services, social care and the maintenance of our public spaces (and public toilets).

‘You pays your penny and you takes your choice’.

Equally, ‘you takes your choice’ (at the ballot box) and they (our elected representatives) ‘pays your penny’ – or they don’t, with the consequences we see all around (including the unfortunate fact that when you want to ‘spend a penny’, you often cannot...)


The Vicarage, St Aldhelm’s Road, Poole