RISING unemployment and government cuts result in many families struggling to make ends meet.
The difficulties in deciding where to make the cuts in the provision of council services is highlighted in the report of the budget announcement (Express February 9). The need for balanced funding is greater now than ever.
For towns such as Pontefract, the struggle to create functions it is capable of performing according to the strength and its capacities is overshadowed because the decisions controlling our destinies is not within our reach.
The coalition government insists that spending must be reduced significantly, which leaves council leaders to take tough decisions.
Retaining jobs and not adding to the three million unemployed must be a priority. It is sad that neither Coun Box, the leader of the council, and Coun Crowther, the leader of the Conservative group, could not offer any proposals to retain the best asset they have - skilled workers.
The chief executive Joanne Roney informs us that the government’s health and social care bill will mean transferring 90 staff from the primary care trust to the payroll of the council.
Will these additional staff have their salary costs ring-fenced so that their jobs will be protected or will it be for the council to decide who will be sacked next year or whenever? This government bill is destructive to the health and social care of people and should be thrown out.
Also, the intermittent closure of our swimming baths should not go ahead, the threatened closure of the nurseries should be withdrawn, our market place and town centres should not be littered with ancient market stalls.
The council should think again on cutting these important services.
SIR WILLIAM O’BRIEN