Letter: West Lindsey - How much for leisure?

I was delighted to read three of your contributors’ letters this week, the first from Coun Lewis Strange promising power to the people and from Oliver Jackson and Coun Reg Shore on two subjects that certainly need further discussion. Wind Power and the East Midlands Ambulance Service.

But please give us the facts! I am not a supporter of giant subsidised wind farms, I have seen them on the road to Palm Springs where the wind blows 300 days a year, and from what I can gather, they don’t pay. All they will succeed in doing here is increase my cost of living.

As for the ambulance service my own experiences in LN3 have been good but in LN7&8 response times could obviously be better. I believe the EM Ambulance Service has recently been fined £ms for poor performance.

I am amazed that anyone should think this would help to improve matters. The tried and tested way in competitive business of bringing about continual performance improvement is through bonuses and the threat of the “sack”.

“The Sack” has worked for centuries and still does in any share-holder driven organisation but it does not seem to apply in 
any government related activity.

The high pay is there but seldom the sack. For share holders or the “board” to make the judgements prior to such action good information and detailed accounts are required and I have yet to find the same quality and depth of information in local government.

Which brings me on to another topic, how much do our leisure centres cost? Do they run at a profit or are they heavily subsidised?

How much of your council taxpaying readers’ council tax is spent on leisure facilities each year, is it £1/2m, £1/4m, £100,000 or nothing? Private operators run leisure facilities for profit, so could WLDC do the same?

What are your readers’ views?

It is only by being totally transparent and the costs being fully disclosed in the annual accounts that services and value for money can and will be improved. Otherwise the information will remain secret and the bills will just keep going up, or the service will get poorer, and no one will be held to account.

Some services, like the police or grass cutting in public spaces, libraries and daycentres for those with special needs, childrens’ play parks or teaching children to swim could never pay and need communal funding. But how much?

On a lighter note, I am all for small scale wind power and PV schemes and if anyone wants to know why, Google http://www.hockertonhousingproject.org.uk/ it tells all.

With regards the leisure centre you will have to ask your local WLDC councillor for full details of the capital, running and overhead costs involved.

Chris Darcel,

WLDC Councillor for Fiskerton and Langworth.