Rachel Noxon, Medway's tobacco control strategic co-ordinator, said that the exchanges between students and smokers were "carefully stage-managed".Now, the job title 'strategic co-ordinator' would tend to suggest that there are staff and resources sizeable enough to require co-ordination. And their budget must be quite generous if they have spare cash lying around to dole out to sixth form art students.
Support also came from A Better Medway – a joint initiative between the council and NHS Medway that encourages healthy living – which part-funded the project, paying for filming equipment.
All of which would seem to be luxuries in the current financial climate, no?
Yet Medway Council are under the same obligation to drastically cut costs as any other local authority, so what are they cutting if not 'tobacco control strategic co-ordinators'?
Deputy leader Alan Jarrett said: "We could cut back on our highways maintenance, we could close libraries, we could close leisure centres. There's a whole raft of options in front of us and we have to decide as politicians which of those unpalatable options is the most palatable."Roads? Libraries? Leisure centres? They'll be telling us that schooling is less important than a robust tobacco police department next!
Following government advice to make cuts to children’s services, there will be £450,000 less funding for a number of programmes in schools including before and after-school activities, holiday provision, and parenting support.So, in essence, Medway Council are cutting services which one would fully expect to be within an authority's remit, whilst leaving untouched those which they really shouldn't be having anything to do with.
Services for all are being scrapped so that a service which precious few want or need can be protected. They do seem to have their priorities mightily skewed, doncha think?
Perhaps this is a Labour council, desperately playing politics with their budgets to enrage locals and turn them against the government. But then, if that were the case, local lefty bloggers wouldn't be directing ire at the local authority, now would they?
The cuts to Medway services are so severe and draconian that residents will be left with nothing but a rump of public services as budgets are slashed by Conservative & Liberal Democrats.All I can say is that if that's what one calls a 'rump', it's a great big flabby one for Rachel Noxon to be allowed to continue strategically co-ordinating.
UPDATE: Hey, Medway! Here is another department your council tax payers could comfortably do without.