Local election battlegrounds

Local government finance

If you haven’t watched our filmed interviews with Peter Chowney and Rob Lee, the leaders of the two main political blocks on Hastings Borough Council then set aside 40 minutes to watch them, they make fascinating viewing.


Finance is a big battleground and each side comes at the argument from a  different perspective. In the films both men have a lot to say about the funding of the council but here is just a snippet from each.

For the Conservatives Rob Lee says: “…there is a fallacy in pubic finance… we all wish there was more money… but the reality is there is not. The Conservatives live within that reality and want efficiency and the best use of what money we do have, the Labour administration want to pretend that there is more money if you look at it in a different way… I live in that harsh reality whereby I don’t think the administration does…”

While Labour’s Peter Chowney says: “Like with like comparison… with this current financial year we’re just coming in to with the 2010/11 financial year we have lost, cumulatively over that period, £45 million and that means our total external grant coming in from the government for routine spending purposes… has gone down from £10m to a little over £2m, going down to pretty much nothing in a couple of years time. So we have lost a lot of funding and that has had a dramatic impact. We used to employ about 600 staff it dropped right down to 300…”

If you’ve not watched the full interviews yet then click the links below.


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