Earlier this week it was announced that Brecon Barracks is to close. This large facility is a few doors down from my house (indeed my house was originally part of the Barracks) so whatever happens to the site will inevitably create change in my neighbourhood.
Immediately there was a flurry of activity on my Facebook feed from our local politicians expressing their outrage at the decision and a number of different petitions appeared with their names on it. This political opportunity stunk a little too much like hypocrisy to me as these very same politicians all campaigned recently on a platform for more “Cuts and Austerity”.
This is the letter I wrote to my local paper which was also posted onto our local community website, FYI:Brecon.
Politicians that Support Cuts Surprised by Cuts (not satire)
“As a resident of Watton I am saddened to see the news about Brecon Barracks but I’m not at all surprised. The Conservatives, Lib Dems and Welsh Labour all stood for election last year on manifesto commitments to make cuts, with only the Welsh Greens and Plaid opposing austerity.
All three of the former parties are now campaigning against these cuts in the form of Brecon Barracks. It appears they like some cuts but not others. This political opportunism is particularly galling on the same day that financial support to the most vulnerable people in our community is yet again reduced and the United Nations released a report detailing the legacy of the Coalition governments cuts as “disproportionately affecting” disabled people.
The Welsh Green Party believe that Brecon needs more support for our most vulnerable people, an increase in affordable housing, a meaningful plan to regenerate our town and an end to damaging closures.
By supporting austerity our elected representatives are simply playing political games around issues in which they are all complicit. I hope that people of Brecon realise the hypocrisy of these actions and are not surprised to see ‘Cuts’ when our politicians manifesto pledges involve running with scissors.”
Grenville Morgan Ham, BEM, FRSA
Brecknock Green Party