Anyone who follows world news couldn’t miss the fact that there have been serious riots in Brazil this week.
Despite the poor state of their health and education systems,squalid housing and general poverty, their government sees fit to spend vast sums of cash on football stadia to host the World Cup.
In India, again huge numbers of the population live in awful conditions (our government has recently provided £230 million in overseas aid) yet they can find the cash to stage a Formula One Grand Prix and fund their own space exploration programme.
Closer to home, in Sheffield this week an almost brand new sports stadium is being demolished because the local council can’t afford to run it.
With further funding cuts for local councils in the pipeline what do we stand to lose? Libraries, social services, parks and recreation facilities?
All this comes in the same week that central government announces a spending spree (up to £50billion on high speed two rail link). I’m sure the people in Norwich, Truro, Aberdeen or Belfast will be delighted.
Most of the facilities provided by local councils were originally put in place and funded by our parents and grandparents, who, when they weren’t busy fighting two world wars, thought about a legacy for future generations.
It now falls to us to at least maintain it and pass it on.
We cannot blame local councillors or council staff for our present position with council tax frozen.
However, it turns out there is a way to protect all our services – the council can if they wish hold a local referendum to increase the council tax or not.
Should we dig a bit deeper into our pockets to preserve local services? It’s got to be a better idea than coming face to face with the riot police.