We had time to protest over cuts

The council cuts to our transport system finally approved on Tuesday were first outlined back in October.

The Mercury’s front page clearly stated what was a risk and in this column I urged readers to make their views known during the extensive consultation period.

I expected letters of protest from those living in isolated communities; the elderly and students.

We had a few letters but there was hardly a mass protest by the people of the county outraged at what was being proposed.

Maybe we have cuts fatigue; maybe we are just prepared to accept what we feel is inevitable; but whatever it is it has meant that the county council has gone ahead with its plans.

It is never too late we are told and headteachers are now voicing concerns about the move to cut funding for school buses for some of their students.

However I suspect that any protests now will be too late. I very much doubt whether having given the public a chance to voice an opinion and debated it in the chamber the councillors will be reversing their decision.

We are told times are hard and savings have to be made but it is a shame that those hit by these cuts will be the most vulnerable in our community – the elderly, teenagers and the poor who cannot afford to run a car.

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Arts Council funding for our region was being announced as I typed this column and we are being told that there are winners and losers among those who bid for the cash.

The arts are an important part of our community and all ventures rely heavily on public funding to remain afloat.

Apparently those chosen to receive support have had to prove that they were forward thinking and innovative so it is good to hear that the Wirksworth Festival is on the winners’ list as is the First Movement project in Matlock.

We will be detailing where the money is going in next week’s Mercury and online at www.matlockmercury.co.uk.

Amanda Hatfield, editor