Reader letter: It’s narrow minded to think service cuts in one community won’t impact others

Downham Market Town Centre with Castle Hotel on the junction of the High Street
. Picture: Archant L

Downham Market Town Centre with Castle Hotel on the junction of the High Street . Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant

It has come to my attention that, during a recent county council meeting, Downham Market county councillor Tony White stated that cuts to services are 'fine so long as they are not in my division'.

Firstly, I'm not sure where he has been but cuts have been happening in his 'division' for some seven years.

The Conservative government has been systematically eroding public services since 2010 with the full support and, presumably, the blessing of those who vote for them and those who represent them through public office.

I find it really interesting, therefore, that Mr White now doesn't want this to happen when it is what, in May, he was elected by the residents of Downham Market to do.

In the last three months Downham Market has lost its JobCentre and its council offices. Now we are set to lose our PCSOs, the public face of the police station and, potentially, the mobile library service and the children's centre.

Meanwhile, council tax in his division has increased by over 40pc since 2010 and by over 75pc since the Conservatives took control in 1997.

And before somebody sets off on the 'but what about the note Liam Byrne left behind saying there was no money' path, even George Osborne has recently been willing to admit that the Labour Party did not cause the 2008 collapse in the sub-prime banking system in the US - nor are they responsible for the increase in the national debt from £900bn in 2010 to the current £1.9trillion.

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Secondly, when I drove back from King's Lynn today, I didn't notice a Trump-like wall around Tony's division. The police service doesn't operate in electoral divisions. A major incident in one area will draw officers away from other areas, leaving them exposed and vulnerable.

The same is true of schools and the NHS. Patients come to the Downham Market NHS dentist because there isn't one in their area, meaning that some Downham Market residents can't register.

It is really incredibly ill-informed and narrow minded to imagine that diminished services in one area won't impact on surrounding communities. What affects one will affect us all.

I sincerely hope that Mr White will seek to represent the needs of the community by vociferously fighting against further cuts in anyone's division.

Having recently organised a collection of food and sanitary products for our local foodbank, I can advise you that the impact of this government's policies on the working poor, elderly and vulnerable in his division is now becoming all too obvious.