Friday, 6 February 2015

Conservatives force about turn on toilet closures

Congratulations to my Conservative colleagues including Roger Hadley and Cllr James Courtenay for forcing the Council’s Rainbow Alliance into reversing the decision on toilet closures. To suggest the relevant cabinet member Cllr Terry has been like a headless chicken on the issue is probably doing an injustice to chickens.

However whilst the cabinet seem happy to reverse a decision which presumably they reached after careful and detailed consideration it is tragic that they have not adopted a similar approach on other unpopular and damaging decisions such as the significant increase in council rents, the unnecessary increase in council tax, the rises in leisure charges to include pier entrance fees, and the appalling decision to hike up car park charges whilst at the same time shedding crocodile tears at the struggling High street.

How they have managed to fund the about turn on toilets is also worthy of comment. The latest council paper comments that the “new saving” of £40K is achieved by deleting “ … provision for the gain-share mechanism in place with the existing waste collection contractor, which will not be required under the proposed contractual arrangements for the new waste collection contract”.

What a marvellous example of officer gobbledegook! The obvious question is if this saving has always been available without apparent negative effect why was it not identified and proposed by the cabinet in the first place. It also prompts the further question of what other apparently painless savings have been overlooked and if they had been earning their substantial allowances would cabinet members have been able to use them to avoid increase in car parking charges, council tax, leisure charges and the like.

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