The budget debate was right and proper

I WAS interested in your report of the council’s budget meeting. Your reporter seemed to be complaining that it went on too long – in fact the actual budget debate lasted about two hours.

But a few weeks ago your paper reported: “Councillors representing voters in 1066 Country were prevented from having their say at the most important county council meeting of the year. Opposition councillors have hit out at the ruling party after a debate about the budget was cut short – preventing 11 speakers from having their say.”

Noone was prevented from speaking at the most important borough council meeting of the year.

Sitting in the public gallery throughout I thought the anger expressed by Labour councillors was absolutely justified. It was reported that the Tory-Liberal government is cutting the financial support to Hastings by 50 per cent over the next two years.

You can’t expect local councillors just to shrug their shoulders at such a drastic reduction, and those councillors who support the Coalition Government can’t really avoid being accused of complicity.

The local churches are organising a petition against the unfairness of the Government’s cuts on a poorer community like ours. Hastings Against the Cuts is campaigning against what is happening. I wonder where our local paper is in sticking up for Hastings which we were told is in a select group of councils taking the largest percentage cut of all.

KEN MAITLAND

London Road, St Leonards

n Editor’s note: We would point out that Mr Maitland is a prominent local Labour party member, who stood unsuccessfully for the party at the last local elections.