Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The Battle of the Toilets

I see that on his blog Labour Councillor Julian Ware-Lane has taken exception to claims that local Conservatives were responsible for the u-turn by the Administration on toilet closures. He suggests that it was him, and only him that requested the reversal of toilet closures although somewhat confusingly then suggests that he is not claiming exclusivity for the success.

The reality is that the draft budget was the product of the Rainbow Alliance of which Labour is a member and Julian is a supporter. I struggle to believe that the budget was agreed and released without input and approval by the members of the various groups who make up the Administration, either expressly or by delegation through their representatives in cabinet. Certainly in previous years the Conservative draft budget had been seen and approved by the entire Conservative group prior to publication.

When this proposal was released it was the Conservative Party which led the outcry which, at least on this issue, has resulted in the original decision being reversed. If Julian’s colleagues in the Administration were unduly bothered about his views they would no doubt have avoided the proposal in the first place but it appears he was ignored - as has been the case on doorstep textile collections. It is a shame that he has not been prepared to support Conservative opposition to car parking hikes, council tax increases, council rent increases, leisure charge increases and the rest so presumably these are items which he supports.

Finally I was amused by his assertion that “The toilets are saved, saved by my ability to make reasoned and cogent argument. These toilets were threatened because of Conservative-led Government cuts.”

Economies have been required because of the challenges which the country faces following the mishandling of the economy by the previous Labour Government, economies which in many respects Julian’s national leaders seem happy to adopt.

The only reason these toilets were threatened has been as a result of this Administration’s inability to deliver a package of sensible savings rather than imposing cuts to front line services, swinging increases in charges, raids on reserves and contingencies and increased borrowing. The Conservative Administration showed how to deliver balanced budgets with significant savings but with protected and improving front line services – pity that the then opposition parties were not paying attention!


  1. Are you suggesting that we should not use the scrutiny process to discuss this sort of thing?

    BTW (1) I like 'Rainbow Alliance' - far better than the daft LIL touted by your mate in St Laurence

    BTW (2) It is good form to either link or allow pingbacks. I regulalrly link to your posts - a favour not yet returned!

  2. The budget is the most important action and policy decision the Administration will take this year. Prior to announcing the draft budget I would expect there to have been full consultation and buy in from all sections of the Rainbow. If not then you are being let down by your representatives in cabinet.

    Scrutiny gives the opportunity for the opposition groups to question the Administration on the draft budget. I do not think it is the forum where I would expect the Administration's own members and their supporters to raise issues or changes.

    If I am wrong then I am amazed at the number of disgraceful decisions included in these proposals which have not been attacked by you and your colleagues.

    As for links that must be my next technical lesson!