Sunday, 3 June 2018

Proper priorities

The Leigh Times recently dropped through my letter box including an article by new Council Deputy Leader James Courtenay. I have a lot of time for James and indeed appointed him to his first cabinet post. However I am concerned about the work apparently now being put in to formulating a vision of the Town for 2050 which he was championing.

This followed an earlier meeting which I attended addressed by the Town's Chief Executive which was talking about work focussing on how the Town will look in 50 years.

In circumstances where we are constantly being told that the Council's budget and staff have been cut to the bone and we are facing massive and urgent issues which need immediate action to include the challenges of social care, the decline of the High Street, the pressures on the Town's infrastructure etc, I would question the urgency of this work.

If I was adopting my fall back "Yes Minister" synacism I would say that this is a local government officer policy made in heaven. No pressure and more importantly no accountability on the basis that by the time the target date is reached most of those involved will be dead or elsewhere and certainly the officer group will be long gone.

Never mind about engaging the public with hypothetical speculation about the future, when in any event changes to life which we can't currently even contemplate will have take place to change the way local government is provided. I would suggest time would be better spent developing a deliverable plan for the next 2-5 years which engages with the public and delivers on some of the challenging areas I have indicated.

Or would it be better simply spending month's and precious council resources going in ever decreasing circles and ending up looking up our own backsides!

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