From: Alexandra Roark, Battle Road, St. Leonards
I am writing in response to Colin Ford’s letter of April 13 2017 titled ‘Remember this when you vote’.
I appreciate that many local people are upset by the closure of the Harold Place toilets.
With the county council elections coming up however, I too would encourage people to vote – and to vote in the best interests of our town and local community.
I know from personal experience that Hastings Borough Council is run by dedicated local residents who work hard to provide the best services and opportunities for the people of Hastings, but they do so in a climate of vicious austerity and budget cuts by the national and regional Conservative governments.
I encourage local residents who go to the polls to remember the recent rise in Council Tax to pay for decreasing levels of service; necessary because of the severe cuts to local government budgets from the central Tory government.
My Council Tax has increased by about £10 a month and my local library is now opening reduced hours, meaning that it is mostly inaccessible to local schoolchildren or to those who work regular hours.
These policies are the result of budget cuts at the county council level, which are the result of the ideological austerity pursued by the national government.
The closure of the public toilets is only one issue in the upcoming elections.
The wider issue is what we, as a local community, and as a society, feel is right when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable, rewarding people who work hard, and assisting those who also work hard but for very little reward.
The local Labour-run council has to make difficult decisions that affect the residents of the town, but they do so in the wider climate of ideological austerity and budget cuts that are a direct result of Conservative policy.
I encourage the people of Hastings and St Leonards to vote in the local elections – who runs our local community is just as important as the referendum vote in which so many people voted who do not normally do so. Whoever you vote for, make your voice heard, and remember that the issue of the toilets is not a black-and-white one.
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