£45,000 to build walls around…roundabouts! This staggering act of reckless indifference towards taxpayers’ money is courtesy of Carmarthenshire Council.
£45,000 is the ludicrous amount of money that Carmarthenshire Council recently spent on building a series of dry stone walls around four roundabouts in Llanelli. The building of these walls has caused no end of uproar and opposition amongst residents. Recognising at a time of financial difficulty that the council should be more prudent with its public purse, many took to social media to make their anger known.
Not only this, but the council had previously and misleadingly stated that funding for the project came from the EU*. The rightful protestations of local residents has forced Council leader, Emlyn Dole, to admit that the programme of spending was ‘extremely hard to even attempt to justify’. Yet, of course they went ahead with it anyway. Sublime logic from our ever dutiful councillors.
For The TaxPayers’ Alliance such wasteful spending and misuse is sadly nothing new. In related news our Council Assets investigation highlighted how councils all across the country have horded, often bizarre and needless, assets that could instead be sold off. Our investigation found that Carmarthenshire Council owns 3 golf courses, 26 farms and 7 theatres. It raises the broader question of what is the appropriate function of local councils and should councils really own these assets?
This is not the time for fanciful spending and government overreach. Instead what is needed is a sustained debate and a meaningful rethink on what constitutes the proper scope of local councils. It is our hope that Carmarthenshire Council actively embarks on this and thinks twice before spending so brazenly on unnecessary projects.
*It's been pointed out by @aranaisbath that this was still taxpayer money, so even if the project went ahead as planned it would still have been a waste.