A formula for disaster

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Reading the Bury Free Press (January 27), I see a formula for disaster hanging over this town.

First of all Andrew Denny, from Bury Chamber of Commerce, expresses that we are not recession-proof in this town as he discusses more business closures. Next, the county council has to make £26.2 million in cuts, yet freeze its income from Council Tax. We will no doubt see huge redundancies in this sector and although you may feel that such public sector cuts are necessary, to the local economy, they help it stall. If people are made redundant, they don’t buy cars, they don’t buy holidays, new scarves, take out new financial service products. They buy less petrol, cut back on outings and meals out. They won’t visit their public houses, they’ll buy fewer papers, cut back on new clothes. If you run or own such businesses you ought to be worried, as we are likely to see more businesses fail. This will just continue to snowball and the amount of employment benefits will rise, the number of jobs fall and growth is now absent. We can now see that cutting back too far can kill us off completely and there are not the buds of early spring promise.

We must take care when cutting back. The private sector is not growing locally and cannot promise the public sector redundancy victims an opportunity of a new job if there is no growth. I am not hearing a cunning plan being put together to avoid this hitting us by any local politicians.

Brace yourself for further health service cuts locally, too. This will further fuel the local economic slowdown.

I fear good businesses that rely on the local spending power will be forced to fail, through no fault of their own.

The cuts are simply going to ruin things for everyone. One can see that local privatisation may seem a rescue for the county council, but alas, these private firms will not be able to provide services cheaper without cutting corners, wages for public sector employees will reduce (as it tends to after privatisation) and what money does not flow into these pockets will not flow out into the tills of shop keepers, car showrooms and small businesses. Expect further redundancies after privatisation not new, honest paying jobs. You can see it’s all going to turn out this way, despite all these brainy people making all these decisions for us, that affect us for many years to come.

I suggest if you are a private sector employee or business person, brace yourselves further, next time you see public sector privatisation or redundancies, local cuts and so on, this will continue to impact on you. I would like to see some response to this from local MPs and councillors. I would like to see questions discussed in the house. I would like to see the chamber of commerce campaigning to protect their sector by recognising public sector cuts threaten commerce in this town.

I hope that the new chairman of Bid4Bury can persuade local politicians to rethink the national plan which threatens the local constituency. Go to your local Citizens Advice Bureau and talk to them, they will tell you how busy they are, how hard it is for people. Enough is enough surely, where’s the plan, sirs?

Jeff Keighley,

via email.