My last few posts have been predominantly about the antics of our Liberal Democrat administration on Northampton Borough Council. So much so that I began to worry that a degree of balance may be needed in order to ensure readers do not think me obsessive with the dealings of our Liberally challenged friends.
But I can only write and report on what is happening, and if we have a Tory County Council which is making itself more and more irrelevant to the everyday lives of people in Northampton, and if we have a Labour Party that is so often as an opposition missing in battle, then the focus will inevitably fall on the activities of what is fast becoming Britain's Craziest Council.
So what delights can I share with you today?
Well, for some time now I have been trying to get the Council to act on ever increasing problems with flytipping in Castle Ward, I pointed out in the local press recently that the Council themselves were responsible for much of the flytipping, as their own housing department staff when clearing a vacated property often just leave abandoned furniture on the road for "later collection" thus acting as a magnet for anyone else to come along and add their own rubbish to the pile.
I have also pointed out to them on more than one occasion that increasing the charge for the household collection of large items from £10 to £25 in last years budget would hardly encourage more people to deal properly with all their old items of furniture.
But the Councils response was always the same
"Northampton Borough Council has a very good record of clearing any flytipping within the town with 99% of all flytipping cleared within 48 hrs" On their performance reports this is even written in as "two working days"
And yet fridges, beds, televisions, and sideboards seem to lying around the estates for days on end? Perhaps my bit of the borough was the 1% not collected within the stated 48hrs?
But now, once again after lot of wrangling and questioning including from the Labour Group on the Borough Council (I always will give credit where it is due) we finally have a better definition of how long a Liberal Democrats 48hrs really is.
After all, most of us would guess at it being 2 days?
But no, in Liberal time it is 8½ days......................................
Surely some mistake I hear you cry?
But no, you see in order to keep the performance indicators the right side of the green line they have determined that 48 hours really means 48 'working' hours and as the council only work 37½ hrs in a five day week, and that a weekend would always intervene then it is a 5 day week plus a 2 day weekend plus a day and a ½ before the whole 48hrs are up.
And this is what we are now up against as the hidden cuts to service start to bite, and the indicators have to still be met, a reinterpretation of the standards to enable the Council to say" look at how wonderful we are" when the exact opposite is the truth? It is the mother of all efficiency savings, a political time machine to make the bad good and the new good palatable
Oh What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.
Whatever next? Perhaps the Lib Dems want their 4 year term in office on the Borough extended in a similar fashion? meaning that instead of an election to remove them in May 2011 we would have to wait until 2023!
God help me, now I am depressed!
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