15 July 2009

Out to lunch.

It's often hard to understand Somerton Town Council's thinking and last evening's meeting (14th July) was yet another curio. A large chunk of time was given over to a discussion about a funding request from Somerton's Youth Club. From the information presented at the meeting it would seem that, as a result of the coincidence of a number of factors, the Youth Club finds itself very short of funds.

Now, there seems no disputing that the Youth Club is already functioning on a very tight budget and no-one at the meeting disputed the general view that the Youth Club is of very real benefit to the Community. The Club isn't profligate with its limited resources and already functions with significant support from volunteers. So, you might have thought that Somerton's Town Council would want to jump straight in and support the Youth Club in order to secure its future, for the next 12 months at least. The cost of such a gesture was suggested to be in the order of £3,000, not very much to ask for compared to the money that has been lavished on the Tin Dunny. So it came as something of a surprise to listen to the discussion and hear councillors debating whether or not to offer the Youth Club £500!

To his credit, CCllr Jimmy Zouche added his voice to the impassioned plea heard from Clive Dyer and, as the discussion progressed, Somerton Town Councillors managed to raise the bar a little and finally approved a grant of £1,500.

Now, given that these are public funds, and subject to scrutiny, its unreasonable for anyone to expect that the Council would throw money about carelessly. But the caution that the council displayed last evening stands in stark contrast to the way that money is spent in other areas. In this I'd remind readers of the invoice which was reproduced in an earlier blog. £2,174 for providing invoices when the Youth Club has to beg for £1,500. Something of an imbalance don't you think?

Till next time.