As discussed previously, the obstructive nature of Council Officers was the most frustrating part of being a Councillor for four years.
Unfortunately, incompetence was also an issue: instructions were not followed, reports were not written in time, the Monitoring Officer did not understand Standing Orders (i.e. the rules of debate and motions) at Full Council etc.
The incompetence also continued to be obvious even when I stepped down as a Councillor. The Council honours former Councillors with a Mayoral presentation of a Certificate when the Councillor stands down, which states the number of years the person served the people who elected them. This is a considerate thing for the Council to do and is appreciated by former Councillors. Well at least it would be if Officers actually invited the Councillors to the presentation. I only found out I was getting a certificate because my wife, who continued to be a Councillor, told me the presentation was taking place. Several of my fellow former Councillors didn’t receive an invitation and therefore did not turn up to be rightly honoured at the Annual Meeting of the Council.
Now, I had let this drop but when my wife received her Council correspondence this morning, I felt compelled to write this post.
The letter envelope was addressed to my wife but the correspondence read as follows:
“The Worshipful the Mayor of Ipswich, Councillor John Le Grys, cordially invites Cllr. G.J. Maclure and Guest to join him…for a Reception and a Presentation of the Freedom of Entry to the Borough of Ipswich to The Royal Anglian Regiment.“
For my wife to be shown the discourtesy of being sent an invite to not herself but her husband who is no longer a Councillor is at best incompetent and at worse disrespectful to an elected representative of the People at the Council.
Being the public sector, there will be zero redress with no officer challenged for making these mistakes mentioned above, so I don’t expect the situation to improve. I guess we just have to accept it and keep paying for the privilege.
Now I realise the above is trivial compared to the incompetence seen elsewhere, as discussed before, but it is symptomatic of a culture of incompetence and “no blame” in the public sector, which left unchecked does lead to people losing their lives.