It was in response to my question about the impact of the cumulative loss of a range of important community facilities, on Ottery town and the surrounding villages, due to the ongoing savage local government funding cuts.
Ottery is set to lose its youth centre, its library and possibly its children’s centre. There are also question marks about changes and cutbacks at Ottery St Mary Hospital. And the town lost its police enquiries desk a year or so ago.
Central government is cutting Devon County Council’s budgets by over £110m by 2017. A similar amount was cut from the council’s budgets over the past four years.
I asked Cllr Hart whether the combined impact of such public service losses had been measured.
Cllr Hart said that this was a piece of work that was going to be done soon.
It is shocking how the landscape of Ottery’s public services could change in such a short space of time. And with hundreds of houses planned across the parish, one would have thought that these services, which are valued so dearly by residents, would be even more needed than they are now.
For more information about the service cuts, see the tough choices part of the Devon County Council website here – http://www.toughchoices.co.uk/
To see the webcast of the cabinet meeting, see this link where it will appear shortly – http://www.devoncc.public-i.tv/core/