by MONITOR

IT goes almost without saying that any project or service identified for cutting by Britain's Lib-Con government will have supporters who immediately cry foul and rush to campaign to reverse the decision. Ministers have a difficult task but they should not make it even more difficult by making economies that are politically influenced and hard to defend on principle. Yesterday Danny Alexander, the Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, announced the cutting of twelve projects of what he called a Labour “pre-election spending spree” to save 2bn pounds.

One of the economies is the Visitors Centre at Stonehenge, a 27.5m project to which the government pledged 10m in May 2009. Stonehenge, a World Heritage Site, has visitors' facilities that have been called a national disgrace by many qualified observers and that it has been trying to improve for at least twenty years. Part of the Centre would be a train running from a car park to the ancient stone circle and thus solving the area's traffic problem. Work was due to start later this year and to be completed before the Olympics in 2012. Mr Alexander said that this was among projects that “do not represent good value for money”. It would be interesting to know how he was able to arrive at this conclusion. The local Conservative MP, John Glen, quickly expressed his disappointment at the decision. It should be withdrawn.

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