You may recall that a few weeks ago I wrote to Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council, David Hall, asking him why he had deliberately antagonised many of the County Council’s AONB funding partners by withdrawing their invitations to a crucial meeting to discuss future funding. You can see the letter here Open Letter to David Hall re Funding Cut
Cllr Hall has now replied but remains unable or unwilling to answer the central question posed, namely “Why has he done this?” See David Hall Response to 17-7 Letter for his full response.
Don’t be fooled by the positive spin being applied by County Hall and other Conservatives to the recent, exclusive, meeting. As Cllr Hall is so fond of saying, “No decision has been taken yet.” But if he wanted to dispel all concern regarding future funding of the County’s AONBs he could do so today bu dropping the ‘possible idea’ of a 90% cut in their funding. He now says that he never had any intention of imposing a 90% cut but he doesn’t rule out a cut up to that level.
All of this also leads to the inevitable question, “If he never had any intention of imposing a 90% cut, what is that ‘possible idea’ doing in the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP)? How do possible ideas get in the MTFP? Who approves those that are published?”
Unless any old harebrained ‘possible idea’ automatically gets included in the MTFP then we must assume that someone in authority approved its inclusion. Perhaps my next question will be “Who authorised its inclusion?” But on current form, there doesn’t seem much point in asking Cllr Hall, does there?