Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally

The dark ages: Ipswich Borough Council

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As I posted several months ago, Ipswich Borough Council under the direction of Suffolk County Council (isn’t local government simple?) switched off your street lights after midnight. The acceptable excuse put out was the Council needed to save money because of the recession, blah, blah, blah. When in fact the reason is to meet the EU’s carbon reduction targets as a result of non-existent anthropological global warming (the UK under Tony Blair actually increased the target by more than the EUSSR demanded).

Of course, even the money argument is nonsense. As a former councillor, I know how much money was wasted on pointless five-a-day coordinators and diversity officers (aka heavily unionised professional trouble makers). Paving footpaths and providing lighting on our streets are the basics. This country brought mechanisation to the world back in the 18th and 19th century and look at us now: no better than a third world country.

After a tremendous Olympics Opening Ceremony Party on Friday night, my wife and I with a couple of friends walked back to our place. We only found our way back with the aid of a torch! I live off a main road!

Now, instead of just inconveniencing residents like myself a far more sinister event has occurred. It appears that because the street lights are switched off on Rosehill Road some criminal has taken advantage and slashed the tyres of multiple vehicles parked in the street overnight. My local councillor, Liz Harsant, tells me she has brought this to the attention of civil servants at the Borough Council who responded by sending her this “decision flow chart” used to decide if the lights should be turned back on and hopefully stop the criminal vandalism and upset caused to car owners living in Rosehill Road. The consultation process is so large that the next ice age may have arrived by the time the bureaucrats at Grafton House think it is a good idea to turn the lights back on!

This is another example of the civil servants running the country not the politicians. Sometimes I completely get what Winston Churchill meant when he said:

“Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

I sometimes think a bit of dictatorship in local government at least wouldn’t be such a bad thing. We could get rid of half the officers at Ipswich Borough Council, give the councillors a decent wage and let them make executive decisions for the benefit of the town. Instead of councillors being treated as just conduits to consultation with local residents and nothing more.
Of course, Ipswich Borough Council are used to being in charge as Labour prior to the Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition of 2004-2010 just let the officers run the town anyway they liked. Labour didn’t care as Socialists were running the Council.

Author: gavinmaclure

IT professional; political blogger, former Conservative councillor

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