I commend Cllr Harvey on her response to my letter (February 28), not because her letter contained anything new or of substance but because, like a staggering number of politicians, she managed to completely ignore the issue I had raised and instead launched off on a tangent. For the avoidance of doubt, I will ask once again, did the alternative budget, proposed by IOC, explicitly agree with the administration’s proposals to raise council tax by 4.9% and deliver savings of £3.9m?

I suspect that Cllr Harvey has failed to respond to my question because the alternative budget was not the brave new dawn its promoters had suggested but rather a reheated version of the sensibly balanced budget proposed by the Conservative administration and like all politicians, Cllr Harvey would rather duck the question than simply answer it.

It would seem that IOC are not the “independent, organised and capable” outfit that Cllr Harvey wants you to believe. Instead they prefer to duck the difficult decisions and focus on political gimmicks that will achieve nothing for our county and its residents. The reality is that whichever party wins in May, they will have to deliver a balanced budget and that will involve a reduction in spending, a rise in council tax or a combination of the two. Anyone who pretends otherwise has their head buried in the sand.

To quote one of my colleagues, “the alternative budget contained lots of original and sensible suggestions, unfortunately the original suggestions were not sensible and the sensible suggestions were not original”.

Dan Hurcomb 


North Herefordshire Conservative Association