I read with amazement that the cash strapped council is considering selling off around £600,000 of our art treasures to meet the cost of front line services for the elderly, disabled and most vulnerable within our communities (something which I agree with in principal).
It is then spending an amazing £60,000 de-cluttering Dewsbury Town centre!
It is confusing to say the least, that while the council prepares us for belt tightening, massive cuts and permit parking charges, we are confronted by ridiculously lavish spending on projects that should only be undertaken in wealthier, more affluent and stable times.
And yet more ridiculous is to use words like “magnitude” when describing Dewsbury Christmas lights 2013, which was attended by only a handful of people.
Where is all the money to come from that will put on these massive events in the town centre? Dewsbury already has a new bandstand at a cost of £47,054. How many times has that been used?
Surely the de-clutter will make this less useable as it faces away from the proposed improvements.
In contrast Heckmondwike has had some massive events such as the amazing Crown of lights music festival in the Green, the Drama and Dance Festival, the Heckmondwike Hangman Ghost walk, and The Christmas Lights Switch on – all with an attendances of a few hundred up to several thousand, without a single bench being moved, streetlight disconnected, and no trees or flower beds destroyed.
While I understand the need for a creative economy in town centres, this has to be financed somehow, and as we do not have the money to sustain frontline services, how is Dewsbury to pay for the lavish events that will take place in the new remodelled town centre.
Perhaps it is eyeing up the £2m grant from the Arts Council, but this was awarded for North Kirklees, not just Dewsbury.
These events which allow communities to gather together are essential, not only for economic reasons, they provide the opportunity for people from different backgrounds to meet and socialise.
This is how communities bond and grow together, but I doubt we need to spend £60,000 moving seating and lighting to achieve this.
Spend the money where it is really needed
S P THIRKILL