The Birmingham Post reports today that Pope Benedict's one-day visit to Birmingham last September will cost the public purse £280,000 - expected to be funded from the local police budget. According to the Post, "[t]he bill has left the force’s contingency budget short of cash for the rest of the year".
Of course you could argue that is nothing in a city where the pain of the Coalition cuts will be felt more than anywhere else, with £330 million (a whopping 28 per cent of all non-schools services from the council) set to be cut between 2011 and 2014.
On the subject, take a peek at this excellent piece by Paul Dale. Compare and contrast. The same council that is having to cut £330m worth of services is also struggling to find £590m (plus £6 million a year in interests) to cover the costs of the currently under construction brand new central library in Centenary Square.
Who knows. Perhaps the logic may be that, if you soon find yourself jobless and with front line services mangled to round it all off, at least you'll be able to cheer yourself up by reading books about the Pope's visit. In the new central library.