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What is cost of council?

Now that the Swindon Borough Council budget has been approved and published ‘Where Your Money Goes’, which accompanies our annual bill, should answer that statement. But does it?

The illustrative breakdown of costs range from caring for older people and adults with special needs and protecting children and vulnerable young people, which together account for over 75 per cent of the budget, down to business support, insurance, HR, IT communications, legal and financial support, which attracts just 2 per cent.

Nowhere is there a definitive and individual entry for the cost of running the council. These costs include maintenance and depreciation of the many and varied buildings of the SBC, the pay and pensions of the directly employed HR, the remuneration and expenses of the councillors, liaison with our twinned towns overseas and many others unknown to me.

As the Adver reported on March 25, one of the major costs to the council is the £6m annual increase in pay. The mind boggles at what initial amount of pay attracts such a huge sum.

I recently suggested to the council that the excellent breakdown showing how the money is spent in the future includes a separate heading of domestic cost of the SBC or something similar to show exactly where our money goes. Not approved.

Am I being naive in expecting to be told what the council costs us or are there other people wanting to know?

Arthur Rowley, Lawn, Swindon

A laughing stock

Am I missing something in my concept of the people using their democratic right regardless of their status, religion, colour or creed to put their cross in a booth and declare what is best for them and our future generations?

I am beginning to wonder along with another 17 million plus British voters. It took me by surprise when one of my friends stated this country is ungovernable at the moment. Think very carefully about that one, readers.

We have one of the most inept British prime ministers in my living memory. Why did she get to so such a high office? There lies the fact that the people running our country, the future of our children and grandchildren by our decisions at the ballot box, could not even decide to get rid of someone out of her depth with the European Disunion.

Another point worth thinking about. We are already the laughing stock of the free world and the European Disunion gravy train at British taxpayers’ expense.

Money matters, as we all know by paying our daily bills to survive. What right did she have to obligate billions of pounds to a failing Ponzi scheme at our future generation’s expense, not her financial expense. Has anyone noticed that clear fact?

Bill Williams, Merlin Way, Covingham

Civic sense

Honda may be on the line

so we walked the line

marched Magic Roundabout to GWR Park

marched through town

banners, passions, hopes, held high

hopes high for more civic sense

Speakers cross-party, cross culture, cross community

stressed unite and stand in unison

to press Honda to respect workers

to resist global pressures

so skilful Swindon workers

might build millions more, eco-friendly cars

to drive forward that civic sense

that common sense, every time

so we workers can continue

to work the Swindon line

Tony Hillier, Swindon’s community poet

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