The Cut

When I was first elected as a
councillor in Cambridge – many years ago,
I went to a budget survey meeting
with the public in a local shopping
centre which the then Labour council had

I was handed a form which gave a list
of spending areas for the budget
debate. It said:

Please tick all those areas where
you would like to see more spending.

I am a small state Conservative in
some ways, and I found many items on
which I wanted to spend more. I was
terribly aware of what went on in
my ward – the lack of provision for young
people, the need to do more in many
areas – and I wanted to tick
many boxes.

However, the Labour council had
sensibly included a proviso,
which said:

All we ask is that for every
box you tick to give more money,
you identify another
item on which you want to spend

Extract from a speech by MP Graham Stuart given in the House of Commons on the 19th January 2011. Submitted by Marika Rose.