Last week’s confirmation from the Isle of Wight council as to which items will be cut from the Highways PFI contract to make annual savings has resulted in criticism from opposition politicians.
Critchley: Tories calling cuts ‘savings’
In response to the announcement, Island Labour Chair, Julian Critchley, said:
“Once again, the Tories are calling cuts ‘savings’, as if that somehow reduces their impact. Worse, they then go on to tell us that somehow the cuts are good for us.
“I’ve heard plenty of political spin before, but suggesting that reducing the maintenance of road verges is a good thing because it ‘encourages biodiversity’ is a particularly fine example of a thief picking our pocket and telling us he’s helped us by lightening our load.
“I notice he didn’t try to find a positive outcome of the overflowing roadside bins which will result from reducing collection frequency. You need to up your game, Cllr Ward.”
“Some of the best roads in the country”?
Mr Critchley, who is also a Ryde town councillor, went on to say,
“Cllr Ward claims that the Island has “some of the best roads in the country.
“I fear this only confirms my suspicion that he doesn’t drive around Ryde very much. I have a meeting with a local resident only this week to discuss dangerous potholes on the main route out of the town, and this is frankly not even close to being the worst example of roads which are now in a terrible state.
“This is a situation our parish and town councillors report from all over the Island, in Sandown, Ventnor, Newport, Cowes as well as out in the rural areas.
Critchley: “Time to stop cutting public services”
Mr Critchley finished by saying,
“This is yet another Tory cut. They’ve cut our services for adults and children. Our schools have lost millions of pounds. Our hospital services are being transferred to the mainland. Local Area Co-ordinators have gone. The Law Centre is being cut. Playgrounds have been stripped of equipment. Public toilets closed. The tip’s opening hours reduced and restricted.
“The list goes on and on. And now the very infrastructure of our Island is at risk with unmown verges, uncollected rubbish and unmonitored CCTV cameras.
“It’s time to stop cutting our public services, and starting to cut these Tories out of office, before they cause more damage than the next Labour government will be able to repair.”
Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh