Councils should merge together

THE leader of Hastings Borough Council and your newspaper have asked for comments on the council’s budget proposals for the next financial year (Observer, January 17).I would comment as follows:

The borough council should recognise that with a significant proportion of its power having been transferred to the county council and other public or voluntary bodies, it cannot justify its existence in its present form.

Retaining 32 borough councillors, with all their allowances and support services, is a luxury that the local taxpayer can no longer afford.

This is proven by the need to draw on precious reserves which eventually will be exhausted. The leader’s separate special allowance should also be scrapped.

Hastings Borough Council should amalgamate with Rother District Council resulting in massive savings on overheads. The council’s top priority should be real job creation and it is a disgrace that despite the high level of public money received in the past, Hastings languishes as one of the most deprived towns in the country.

The Mayor’s number plate DY 1 is not ours to sell. It was the first registration number issued for Hastings and was given in perpetuity by the Hollingsworth family for use on the mayoral vehicle.

Another potential source of income would be to allow the Stade Open Space to act as an additional parking facility when not being used for any other purpose.

Our low wage, benefit and begging-bowl economy has to be the focus rather than the pursuit of ‘flash-in-the-pan awards’.

Finally,I welcome the intention to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in 2016 but we could have exploited the most famous date in history far more productively in the past.

RICHARD STEVENS

All Saints Street