WHAT THE PAPERS ( DON’T ) SAY ( A semi satirical look at the local Labour Party’s most recent public dissembling! ) Nov 6th 2014
Another excellent post from our weekly contributor
A quieter week, particularly for local political news, probably because there is no weekly column in the Advertiser courtesy of Cllr Taylor. Is his scriptwriter on holiday? More likely I suggest he has been told to keep a low profile and stick to a historical monologue about Ashton markets since the middle ages! I suspect he has had his backside kicked for stirring up the hornet’s nest re the Hyde Library debacle, and losing scores more of voters to Ukip! He is not totally out of the news however as a letter in the Your Views pages from a Mr Wright, one of his ward constituents, supports Cllr Bell’s stance on the Library building and castigates the Council on its Vision Ashton fixation.
The Car Park stealth tax attracts letters of scorn also, but the council purports to have listened, and to great fanfare from beleaguered Cllr Robinson has reduced fees on “selected” car parks in the Borough. Note I say selected; for example the reduction to £1 for 3 hours will apply to all Denton car parks. Is there not only one left now, next to the Library, and this is within spitting distance of Crown Point North where you can park free whilst shopping? This reduction comes into force on November 24th which suggests an emphasis on Christmas shopping. No closing date is mentioned, but don’t presume this is open ended as I am sure it will be repealed in January!! Ashton Rules OK!!
Two of our M P’s, both lifelong careerists climbing the greasy pole with dreams of high office, ( Shadow only we hope ) cannot agree on the benefits of a solar farm project mooted for Dukinfield on an old landfill site. Mr Reynolds is for and Mr Gwynne is against. At least Mr Gwynne is consistent in wishing to preserve green belt sites, but his great rival just wants publicity, any publicity. You should arrange more photo shoots with cats, dogs and children Mr Reynolds; or perhaps invade Mr Gwynne’s territory more often in the way that you were photographed in Denton applauding the umpteenth domestic installation of solar panels. Hey, get orff moy laand Reynolds!
Devolution of powers to Greater Manchester (that is to its mandatory new Mayor!)
Ostensibly a positive move for regions outside London and the South East which we all hope will benefit us. Cllr Quinn, with typical modesty and understatement, proclaims that he along with 9 other G M bosses “ struck the deal “ with Mr Osborne worth £1 billion! I doubt Mr Osborne would recognise Cllr Quinn if he fell over him, but nevertheless…… an extra £1 billion? No chance, this is doubtless essentially the usual money by a different route. Surely a Conservative Chancellor would not dole out significant extra dosh to serial spendthrifts like this lot….would he?
Observations on the press release;
There will have to be a new elected Mayor of G M who will also be the Police Commissioner, on God knows what salary! He will also have a Cabinet, as yet numbers unknown, which will cost a fortune, but which per example in the case of the Greater Planning Freedom granted, will have to make majority decisions. At least such a hugely expensive cabinet will mean that Council Leaders in the GM Boroughs will no longer be necessary and whose removal will help balance the cost – DREAM ON!! This is a Socialist utopia, especially if we are daft enough to vote in a Labour Government! More layers of astonishingly expensive bureaucracy and power to the control freaks – yippee!!
The Mayor will have access to £300 million from a Housing Investment Fund for delivering 15000 more homes across Greater Manchester in the next 10 years. That is all of 150 per borough per year. At least this is confirmation that Mr Osborne has maybe NOT totally lost his marbles after all and this deal is not what it seems. I smell a Tory trap and some Labour MPs, including Mr Gwynne are sceptical – “such power should not be in the hands of one individual” is the fear. Typical withdrawal symptoms of the power addict, petrified by the possibility of a Boris Johnson type getting elected by the people rather than a tame puppet appointed by the Politburo!
Anyway, it all hardly seems a precursor to, and I paraphrase Mr Reynolds, “Manchester becoming Britain’s first city “. I did mention his liking for publicity didn’t I. I wonder what he is smoking these days?