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Newbury residents "deserve better" admits mayor

Howard Bairstow, who is also a Tory councillor, says he is 'angry and upset' at council cuts

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper


01635 886632

Newbury residents "deserve better" admits mayor

THE mayor of Newbury has conceded that Newbury residents ‘deserve better’ than having their services cut.

Howard Bairstow, who is also a Tory councillor, used his speech at Monday night’s annual town meeting to criticise the way the town’s residents have been treated.

Mr Bairstow, who sits on Newbury Town Council and West Berkshire Council, said he was ‘sad’ that local councils had been put in the position where they are having to make cuts to public services.

He added: “I was extremely upset and angry we were made to do this. Our people deserve better than that and we will work hard to keep as many services as possible., but we only have so much money – we are in a difficult position.”

West Berkshire Council has been forced to make an unprecedented £17.5m of cuts in the next financial year after having its government grant slashed by 44 per cent.

As a result of this, the district council told the town council it would need to take on the cost of running the public toilets at The Wharf and Pembroke Road.

The town council will also have to pick up the bill for running the town’s CCTV service and Visitor Information Centre.

The town council needs to raise at least an extra £55,000 to keep these services running, so it raised its precept – the amount of money it collects from the town’s taxpayers’ – by 4.6 per cent.

Mr Bairstow continued: “I would be sad to lose any of these services. CCTV is essential for security, toilets are essential for a hygienic town and the information centre is essential for tourism.”

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Article comments

  • Andy160165

    24/03/2016 - 17:05

    west berkshire residents need to treated better especially east side of west berkshire calcot and holybrook


  • Judith4Newbury

    24/03/2016 - 13:01

    Howard, I couldn't agree more. Unfortunately the cuts are down to a conservative government cutting funding for local authorities and a conservative district councillors not managing the money properly. You are always welcome here, in the Lib Dems.


  • Oldmoaner

    24/03/2016 - 10:10

    What is he actually sorry for, sorry we have no control of what happens within our town, we sit back and play at being a council whilst WBC give away all of our heritage. Sorry we have authority to keep putting up the local tax so we can keep wasting it on our ever reducing park that we lost so much money on already and will continue to do so and continue to play at being in charge of nothing. Save money use one of the closed public toilets as an office and rent out the Town Hall.