A glance at a local newspaper article on the issue shows anger and disbelief from Stainesians. Ben Harris, a former dustman with Runnymede Borough Council remarked, “Why should we have to pay for their fancy stuff? It’s a waste of money. The money should be put into the community, into parks and stuff for the kids for something to do so they won’t be up to mischief”. Someone else commented, “If they want an iPhone they can buy one themselves!”
The cabinet members of Spelthorne Borough Council are wasting public money on luxuries for themselves when there are far more important services and groups that need funding. One example is the Shepperton Youth Centre’s Live and Direct Programme. The aim of the scheme is to help young people in the area develop confidence and skill as young musicians. At present the scheme is struggling; it needs help to survive. The young musicians put on a gig last week to raise funds to ensure the scheme would survive. The night was a success with over 150 attending the event and several hundred pounds raised for the scheme but more financial support from the council should be there.
One would hope that the cabinet members might realise that iPhones aren’t essential for their jobs and instead of purchasing fancy phones put money where it’s needed in the community, somewhere like the youth music project. But the chance of this happening doesn’t look too good…. Sadly this isn’t the first time Spelthorne Council has seriously lost sight of what the local community wants and needs. Back in 2009 they spent £2000 on twinning Staines with an island in Mauritius!