28 December 2007

A Lib Dem/Labour Spat that serves no--one

I had a trip around the Hucknall and Ollerton area of Nottinghamshire today. I often buy local newspapers from places, I was glad I did today. The headline in the Hucknall Despatch was all about Ashfield District Council's internal review which highlighted that they were not performing well enough in 40 out of 75 indicators. That in itself is a worry, but if I were a resident I would be more concerned about the political response; the Lib Dems and the Labour Party arguing about who is to blame with one party accusing the other basically because the Lib Dems took control last May. It is this sort of response that really turns people off.

The most important point is not who is to blame, but how the issues are going to be addressed. What is more disturbing is walking through areas like Central Walk in Hucknall it becomes apparent that some of the basics are lacking - it desperately needed some TLC, with litter strewn around and a large brick flower bed with a tree as the centre piece with weeds and grass growing around it. There are some great parts of Hucknall and an absolutely fantastic piece of public art relating to the area's mining heritage near the Tesco store, but I couldn't help feeling that politics is a barrier to better delivery rather than a driver for it.



Anonymous inamicus said...

The point here is that the Lib Dems are rapidly making big inroads into what was formerly Labour territory, starting with a by election and going onto make big gains in May and taking power (with Independents). The council leader is under 30 and he and his team have had to take power as very new councillors in an authority dominated for years by Labour.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Martin Curtis said...

And the way to move forwards is to engage in a spat about the past?

Age, experience etc. is irrelevant to the people that put them in power, delivery of services is what matters.

10:31 PM  
Anonymous inamicus said...

Think you're being unrealistic here Martin. For any incoming - and inexperienced - administration to turn around an authority that is failing badly and which has excluded the opposition from any meaningful involvement for decades is going to take a tiny bit longer than six months.

The "political response" you cite is surely no different from that which goes on in any council chamber every month up and down the country; indeed I would suggest the response from the administration is straightforward and honest. Where's the story there?

2:20 PM  
Blogger Gooey Blob said...

As I come from the neighbouring town of Eastwood, I would like to offer my condolences for the horrors you undoubtedly suffered as you visited this particular neck of the woods. Both Eastwood and Hucknall suffer from the same problem. Namely, if one were to place a red rosette on a donkey, it would be elected to the local council. The Labour Party frequently does just that, proving the real depth of incompetence that runs through the organisation. It is not just Brown and his fawning cabinet halfwits that have delusions of adequacy, there is real talent for ineptitude right down to the footsoldiers who still run some of the councils in former mining areas.

Fortunately, I managed to effect my escape over the border to Amber Valley when nobody was looking.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Martin Curtis said...

2 points to respond to - firstly, sometimes before politicians get involved public slanging matches over who's to blame it is worth taking a step back and thinking about who it serves. I am all for a good political spat - but it must have a positive aspect to it. I love highlighting the Lib Dems penchant for taking the path of most opportunity, but only because I believe people need to know why they take a particular line on an argument.

Secondly, I wouldn't describe what I saw as horrors, just a Town full of decent people that were not being served as best they could; Central Walk was just a good example (but not the only one).

I did try to offer some balance by mentioning the public art near Tesco. I also thought the library was a great facility; a great building and a great location. There should be more libraries like it.

IMHO the point that goey blob makes is sound - it is a place that, from my perspective, is in need of good political leadership

9:03 PM  

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