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Calls for taxpayers to pay for new van for Helston Town Council

By West Briton  |  Posted: January 13, 2014

Calls for taxpayers to pay for new van for Helston Town Council
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HELSTON taxpayers could be asked to pay for the running of a new van for the town council.

However, some councillors worried it was an unnecessary expense at a time of cut backs.

They also questioned whether the council needed its own set of wheels.

The matter was raised at the last meeting of the town council where the mayor, Jonathan Radford-Gaby, said it was vital given the amount of extra work for staff. He said council employees were already using their own vehicles for work and the plan would save money in the long run. He said: "I feel it is necessary for this council to have a vehicle given the amount of devolved assets we are managing, such as play areas and toilets."

The issue of whether the council should get its own vehicle had been handed to a group of councillors on the amenities committee.

Raising the question at a meeting of the full council, before the committee had decided, angered councillor Martine Knight.

She said: "No decision has been made yet by the amenities committee. We are custodians of the public purse and we have to make sure we only spend on what is really needed."

She said the council might just as well scrap its committee system if it was to be overruled.

"We are not here to be yes-women or men, or to rubber-stamp decisions," she added.

Mr Radford-Gaby said all members of the council should have a say because it would cost a lot of money.

He was backed up by deputy mayor Mike Thomas, who added: "This council needs a van. We've got so much work to do and it's not about looking back to the past."

Councillor Ronnie Williams warned: "It is a major thing, for this council to go forward with."

Councillor Justine Hornsby, chairwoman of the amenities committee, said: "It wasn't that we were saying 'no', it was that we want some more information. The taxpayers will want to know how we made our decision."

It was agreed to let the amenities committee get information on costs and discuss the matter again at another meeting.

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