WE are facing difficult economic times.

And yet - you will have heard that the council is planning to spend considerable sums of money on projects in the city and the market towns – to deliver a 21st century Museum and Art Gallery, a new city library, improvements to the city centre and riverside area, a multi-transport hub at the station, safer routes to school for city children, new employment land in Ross, multiple town centre improvements in Leominster and in Ledbury.

Some ask: “How can this be justified at this time of economic uncertainty, when some residents are having to choose daily between feeding themselves and putting fuel in their cars.”

First, this administration has a responsibility to plan and invest for the long-term benefit of this county and its residents as well as investing in and delivering everyday services which support business and community in the near-term.

There needs to be a balance and we must do both if, in the short-term, we are to keep the county functioning effectively, so that - in the long-term - we can make Herefordshire an even better place to live and work.


Secondly, much of the funding for these projects is money from Central Government – money collected through central taxation and offered to local authorities specifically for building projects.

These are national grant offers and we would not be doing our best for Herefordshire if we didn’t make every effort to secure a fair share for the county.

Thirdly, the grants are limited to building-type works, referred to as ‘capital projects’ and require that the council also contributes funds alongside those provided by government.

This money is not allowed to be spent on repair works, on pot holes, or on any other council services.

Just like you, the council also faces and must respond to these uncertain times.


Leader of Herefordshire Council

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