Guest column: So much money is just being wasted

Tony Clayton, chairman of the Bassetlaw branch of UKIP
Tony Clayton, chairman of the Bassetlaw branch of UKIP
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Although much of our attention, quite naturally, is focused on Brexit and our future outside the European Union, I also think we should all look very carefully at our wasteful spending with the resultant threat of cuts to our services.

David Cameron committed 0.7 per cent of our GDP to be spent on foreign aid. In my view this is for bureaucrats using it for the most ridiculous schemes, in some of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Although 0.7 per cent does not sound like a lot of money it actually runs into billions of pounds.

Many people in this country and a lot of the media think this should be stopped altogether or at least drastically curtailed and the schemes looked at should be very seriously scrutinised.

A control on this spending could see, I feel, money redirected to the NHS, where the crisis situation seems to get worse by the day.

But this control, together with the NHS ensuring health tourists actually pay for their treatment, would sort out the problem swiftly.

Daily, we hear stories of patients dying, either waiting for a hospital bed or an ambulance which would never have happened a few years ago in my opinion.

Close to home, we hear of the children’s ward being closed to night-time admissions at Bassetlaw Hospital and patients having to go to Doncaster.

Children don’t choose to be ill and when they are they need the comfort of parents being with them as much as possible at what is a very frightening time for a small person.

And not every parent has got a car or the time to travel one hour, each way, to Doncaster all the time, whereas many people can easily take a bus, taxi or even walk to Bassetlaw Hospital to be with their children.

Strangely, despite campaigning for the children’s ward to remain open, our local MP John Mann chose NOT to vote against Cameron’s plan to give 0.7 per cent of our GDP in foreign aid.

Unlike John Mann’s deeply divided Labour Party, UKIP is very clear – we should slash the foreign aid budget and put the welfare of UK citizens first.

Another point regarding waste has got to be directed at our county council.

I don’t know if many readers have noticed the new signage on council vehicles, both county and Bassetlaw vehicles.

The word VIA has appeared on them, this is because we now have a new venture and company, jointly with Cornwall County Council, so that they can now legitimately quote for building new road schemes and other such projects.

Two points immediately spring to mind, number one, couldn’t they find a partner any further away in the country and number two, with their past track record (the Millhouse roundabout for example) do they really think they could be competitive or switched on enough to take on the large civil engineering firms who specialise in this type of work and have done for years?

I very much doubt it.

To give an insight into the mindset of the people who dreamt this up I am led to believe they paid a consultant £20,000 to design the logo VIA which is in plain block capitals and actually means ‘by way of’ in Latin.

It must have taken some real imagination and hard work to think that one up.

All this and, I understand, at a cost of £250 per vehicle for the new stickers, not to mention changing all the uniforms and hi-vis jackets to incorporate the new logo, is being spent by a council which is telling us, weekly, that it is having to make cutbacks to services.

You couldn’t make it up.

At the next elections you should look carefully who you vote for.