I have always been grateful that here in the UK we live in a democratic society. One where those who make decisions over our lives are elected and where, if we believe that they are not doing a good job, we can collectively remove them at the next election, by voting for someone else. It might not be perfect, indeed I would prefer to see changes to the method of electing our representatives from the current first past the post system, to a form of proportional representation, but it certainly beats some of the alternatives. I am therefore concerned that we are once again witnessing more public money going into Quangos.
These semi-public administrative bodies are funded by Government, but we as voters have no ability to remove those who run them. Quangos were rife 20 years ago under the Labour Government, costing a staggering £38.4bn by the time that they left office. The coalition government promised to cull them and more than halved this expenditure to £18.6bn. However, under Boris Johnson this has once again been rising steeply and stood at £29bn in 2020. Many of those who run bodies such as: HS2, Visit Britain and Homes England are earning six figure salaries, well in excess of that earned by the Prime Minister, and some for working only a two-day week. Surely those responsible for spending this public money, should like those of us who have been elected, also be accountable to the public. Whilst possibly not the most pressing issue on the Governments agenda, I nevertheless hope that it is one which they will address.
Last week I was fortunate to be invited to the opening of the new Bonners store in Faraday Close, Hampden Park. I can remember the early days of Bonners from when I was a teenager and have watched them move from location to location within the town as they have expanded. They are a real Eastbourne success story, their new store offers a very wide range of guitars, pianos and keyboards and is staffed by a knowledgeable team who are passionate about music. It is great to have them in town.