Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Council under cosh in Echo

The Darlington pages of today's Northern Echo are full of stories criticising the Council. The parishes are "outraged" at the Council's plan to end their grants to our rural communities: a decision I criticised last week in an article in the Echo. Cllr Williams, the Leader of the Council, responding to a completely justified attack by Ian Holmes and Brian Jones, among others, that this decision is a cynical political move against non-Labour voting areas, blusters, "This accusation of bias is nonsense and completely untrue. We spend millions in our villages every year." Well, you won't miss an extra £34,000, then, to re-instate their parish grants, will you Cllr Williams?!

I have a letter published, which continues the campaign to persuade the Cabinet not to accept officers' recommendations to abolish free bus travel for the over-60s before 9.30am. There are also letters from veteran Council baiters, Harvey Smith and John Antill.

Finally, my friend Peter Freitag rails against the aggressive nature of parking enforcement in the town, which the Council uses as a form of indirect taxation.

With the budget debates to come, disappointing Ofsted reports and the long-delayed but imminent publication of the report into the Pedestrian Heart overspend, the Labour Group - and in particular its Leader - are in for a rough ride.


miketually said...

I was really disappointed to read the claim that parking fines are a tax on motorists in today's Echo. Strangely, when we owned a car, we didn't once have to pay one of these "taxes".

Perhaps the Council should have a week when they make all parking free and they do not issue any fines? I don't think it would take long for people to be shouting for more enforcement of the rules and for more expensive parking.

Personally, I'd like to see a lot more enforcement of illegal parking, particularly people who park on pavements.

ian holme said...

I have asked Cllr Wiiliams to justify his statement re "spending millions in the villages every year"
He has yet to do this............