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START THE WEEK: More Pointless and Unaccountable Local and not so Local Authorities, by Wiggia

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As with all other bad news these days, there is a daily drip feed of governmental nonsense fed to the masses. Birmingham council, now bankrupt through their own mishandling and inadequacy have issued a statement on how they intend to go forward; naturally there is no mention of anyone or group being held responsible for the financial disaster that has befallen on Birmingham, as is the pattern in all government layers no one is ever responsible for anything.

Commissioners, intervention and improvement

In September 2023 the council issued 2 Section 114 notices as part of the plans to meet the council’s financial liabilities relating to equal pay claims and an in-year financial gap within its budget.

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities appointed commissioners to exercise certain functions of the council as required and begin the improvement journey for Birmingham City Council.

We need to find over £250 million worth of savings over the next 12 months and there will be considerable changes as a result for residents.

Challenging decisions lie ahead, we need to get our finances back on track to a healthy position and implement a programme of improvement – a reset must start now, beginning with the 2024/25 budget.

An improvement journey has begun on the path to become a financially sustainable and well-run council.

Ah, an ‘improvement journey’ a new phrase from the inadequates who cannot run a bath never-mind a local authority; still, a change from ‘lessons will be learned.’

Meanwhile a new twist to our local (Norwich, UK) Northern Distributor Road saga. It has taken ten years to get this far; in China the whole road would have been completed in a month, yet still the bats seem to be winning over people, the new estates north of the road are getting outline planning and thousands of people will event.ually if this road is not completed. be using two small village routes to connect to the A47 It is madness and as usual the costs have skyrocketed. Also it gives time for the Greens and the eco zealots to find other ways of delaying the project and ruining inhabitants’ lives while favouring a few bats that will move as they did when we lived in Suffolk under another scheme that they tried to stop using the bat plan. It is already a watered down project but will still give respite to the rat runs of which there are only three.

Planners and highways need to co operate on these projects rather than pretend they do. The time lag before any action is taken is measured in decades in this country and all parties blame each other. It was always thus.

We have a new Police & Crime Commissioner – you know. the position that pays a £100k + a year for someone who we don’t want, don’t need. don’t know but is foisted on us. This time along with national politics the vote swung to Labour and a woman named Susan Taylor won. Her CV was so short it needed a magnifying glass to find. Evidently she was a local councillor, not in the area which allows her to stand.

‘Anyone who is a member of staff of a local council that falls wholly or partly within the police area in which the election is to be held – including anyone employed in an organisation that is under the control of a local council in the police area for which the election is to be held. ‘

So not local then, and apart from being a member of a road safety group, no real job and nothing that could be vaguely aligned with police or crime.With an office costing £1 million a year it will be yet another burden for the tax payer with no justification for its existence.

The turnout was 21% and she got under half of that, so less than 10% of the electorate voted for this pointless position.It is the same nationwide; why do they persist in keeping it going, why?

Up north something that many said would happen, not politicians of course, has happened: a Trojan horse Islamist disguised, badly, as a Green candidate won a council seat.If this had been a product presented as a Green candidate they would be charged with misrepresentation; and are the Greens that desperate to get onto councils.Maybe they are as this shows……..

Still they have plenty of backup: the fragrant Melissa Poulton, described by a Conservative MP as a bloke in a wig, I couldn’t possibly comment, but the Greens do seem to attract a larger share of the ‘unusual’ than the other parties… the leader of the Greens Caroline ‘several homes’Lucas is the MP for Brighton, yet the bins are not emptied and travellers set up camp on seafront green spaces with full permission.

Our local Green candidate reminds me of a certain Alfred E Neumann of MAD magazine fame…

Perhaps it is all getting too much for me and I read t0o much into it all, if not we are all doomed, doomed I tell ya!

I often along with many others wonder why we put up with the pathetic overpaid and under qualified public servants – in France for instance a liberal spraying of public offices with merde does not go amiss. This story of jobsworths from Cambridge County Council is self explanatory: an annual flower display giving a lot of pleasure to the inhabitants of Chatteris, not the most glamorous towns, has had this year’s flower display reduced by the council on health and safety grounds. The last paragraph from the council spokesman is one of the most condescending utterances put out in the public sphere. The spokesman should instead of the now defunct award winning hanging baskets be replaced by the same spokesperson hung by his own proverbials.

A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesperson said: “It’s great seeing the creative ways that communities across the county make use of streetlights with festive displays.

“As streetlights are directly connected to the local power grid, to ensure everyone’s safety any group wishing to display items from a streetlight needs to get in touch with the council so we can make sure essential independent safety training is completed for everyone’s wellbeing.

“We look forward to hearing from Chatteris in Bloom.”

Another local council affair has been branded as ‘vexatious’ by the council involved. I have no knowledge of the niceties but much is self evident and an auditor upheld 27 0f the complainant’s 32 complaints. As so often with local councillors, not unlike more senior politicians, when the going gets tough they look for reasons to silence or ignore the complainant. This you can read here…

and make your own mind up if he has a point or is just a meddler with time on his hands.

Having crossed swords with a local councillor a few years ago over a speed camera issue on our then rat run village street, I can appreciate the frustration when one sees nothing being done, in my/our case after the money had been provided and the action approved, and ridiculous replies follow unanswered questions.

I was accused of pestering the said councillor over the matter despite only sending two. yes two emails over an eighteen month period. When I suggested that if he considered being pestered at that level as being too much for him he might be better employed elsewhere an answer was not forthcoming.

After I moved, the speed cameras were installed ten years later , but on a long village street they installed them over a short stretch each side of a pinch point, and they have no legal right to even fine anyone however fast they are driving, so the whole episode was a total waste of £60k that could have been used more productively elsewhere.

When it was pointed out the error of the placement they replied (not to me) that the village had after a long period of demanding something was done ’got what they wanted’ and the matter was closed.

You really couldn’t make it up, why do we have these incompetents in any form allowed to make decisions on anything?

George Carlin was right when he said they can’t blame me for voting for a wrong un, as I don’t vote. I have joined that ever growing club.

PS the councillor I had a spat with has retired and his place has been taken by a woman who has never had a proper job and now her husband is now a councillor despite the fact he has never worked and has ‘health problems.’ What could possibly go wrong!

It is good to know that at the top things are different, our elected members are on top of issues that affect us all and can be relied on to put in their views on these matters on our behalf, or not as the case might be…

From X: 


 - Just about sums up our political class.


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