2023 elections | We must prioritize the most important tasks first!

2023 elections |  We must prioritize the most important tasks first!

opinions This is a discussion post. The publication expresses the opinions of the author.

Since the Conservative Party took over the administration of the new Agder County Municipality, the priority has been to have a secure financial administration, as we prioritize our most important tasks and the biggest challenges facing Agder. We have achieved a financial surplus that has given us room to invest in measures that benefit the people of Agder. As a major investment in industrial roads, traffic safety and upgrading of professional equipment in schools. And when voluntary work saw unexpected cuts from the Labor government, Agder, led by the Conservatives, could provide the money they needed to keep working.

Høyre wants to run an effective county council, where we prioritize services that matter to the people of Agder and make decent public spending. At a time when so many people are struggling financially, we as County Council must set a good example, prioritizing the most important tasks, rather than projects of political prestige.

On the other hand, if you look at the Labour’s platform, there is little sign of economic priorities or moderation in the handling of public funds. Free school meals, free culture, maximum bus fares, maintenance of half-empty classrooms and run-down dental clinics. Even Labor finds room to fund artist residencies given its lack of prioritization. However, it is not possible to fulfill all these promises, without affecting schools, road investment, or traffic safety in Agder.

Take free school meals for example, the Ministry of Education estimated that in 2019 it cost NOK 19 per pupil, and if you add in the 17% price increase since then, you get NOK 22. At Agder, we have approximately 11,500 students who attend school 190 days a year, which results in an incredible cost of 48 million. 48 million that the labor party should take from other parts of the school.

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The price Labor is willing to pay for school meals is about $10 million more than the entire Risør VGS budget and can bolster the school in Agder with 60 new qualified teachers. For the Tories it is good to have food in school, but when too many students are dropping out of school, or are being bullied, or are not getting the help they need when they are mentally ill, other things must be prioritized.

The Conservative Party will prioritize providing aid to students who need it. We want to invest in professional fields, where there is a great need for new sites and equipment that are updated and meet the requirements and expectations of working life. Teachers are the most important tool we have at the school, so we will invest in further education and training of our teaching professionals to conduct the training internally. And we have to achieve this by setting priorities.

We can no longer look at the county council spending 100 million a year on empty school desks, we must see what the needs of working life are and adapt the school offer accordingly and be able to offer a wide choice of study to more students. We cannot spend millions on school meals, cultural cards and other good measures, while at the same time we do not have adequate coverage of health nurses in our secondary schools. For Heuer, it is about prioritizing the tasks that matter most and what is needed to solve the challenges of Agder. You can’t do that with general waste. You can take a packed lunch to school yourself, but getting a health nurse, on the other hand, is not so easy.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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