And another Herald letter: MSCP Council Tax Shock Rise?

And another letter from this week’s Herald

MSCP Council Tax Shock Rise?

Last week’s Herald press release shows the business case for an MSCP is not proven.  Under the current national austerity programme, no Government minister can justify the subsidy of such a vast project without financial contribution from the community.

Is this good use of central government money, particularly when there are more cost effective options that should be investigated such as bringing in the empty car park on the north side of the station owned by Waverley  into operation?  This would accommodate up to eighty cars overnight.

The town council hasn’t yet disclosed to the residents of Haslemere that it will have to vote to raise the council tax precept to help finance the eye watering £multi million cost of an MSCP.

Politicians are spinning as hard as they can believing that championing this project will pay dividends next year’s local elections.  Blighting the station environment and the gateway to Haslemere with a concrete car park carbuncle seems a small sacrifice for their dreams of holding onto a monopoly of power.

It might never be built, but who can fault this election strategy?  Define a problem, exaggerate it, propose a solution, conceal all the detrimental effects and scoop the votes.  However, as many people are now beginning to realise, in this case, the cure will be devastatingly more damaging than the illness.

Having condemned the station to a permanent future of environmental blight and congestion, councillors will need noses as long as Pinocchio’s to support a sufficient number of rose tinted glasses to render the 160 meter long multistory  light polluting edifice attractive to the eye.

What logic supports Haslemere residents subsidising commuters who do not live in Haslemere by an increase in our community tax?  Why force pensioners to donate part of their meagre pensions or hard working families part of their hard pressed household budget to subsidise a flawed concept?

An increase in council tax going to a MSCP will allow developers to build many new houses beyond Haslemere in unsustainable locations arguing there will be a glut of commuter parking in the town.

Why should we have to pay for the associated hike in car parking charges and for the consequent parking permit to park in our own streets as they become yellow lined and cleansed of non resident’s cars, a necessity of the premise of a MSCP?

Do expect a pre-election soft sell and a consultation drive very shortly as councillors ask the community to cough up for this unnecessary eye sore.


David O’Brien

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