Friday, 9 November 2007

Tameside Council - Labour Party (PR) People


This weeks Advertiser featured a very interesting letter from the Tameside Advertiser from Councillor John Bell, Conservative Leader of the Opposition. In this letter he talked about how a Tameside officer said that ALL parties were in favour of Congestion charging in the latest edition of the Tameside Citizen newspaper without consulting any of the opposition parties. Councillor Bell was quick to rectify in a letter to the local press that the Conservative group in Tameside are against congestion charging. He also discussed issues surrounding the spiralling £803,000 cost of running Tameside Council's PR department.

I have to laugh at how Councillor Bell sarcastically describes the Citizen of having a "scoop" on the subject. The Citizen is operated and owned by the council, it should act as a newsletter informing of budgets, councillor surgeries, district assemblies, events of interest etc - NOT investigative journalism. Councillor Bell went on to make the following statement:


"The Citizen has been reduced to nothing more than a propaganda rag for Labour, paid for by the council tax payers. This is self evident every March when it is distributed to every Tameside home on the eve of the local elections, emblazoned with pictures of Labour councillors, some of whom are defending their seats.

Enough's enough, it is now time for change.

Last year the Labour council spent £803,000 on publicity, a staggering £95,000 more than the previous year. A Conservative administration would therefore reduce these spiralling costs by scrapping the Citizen, ensuring that council tax payers money was spent on things that really mattered"


Here, here! Councillor John Bell makes a lot of sense on this issue and I applaud him on this whistle blowing which shows what a waste of money our council tax is going towards. Tameside Eye has been playing around with the £803k figure and we have found out that this worked out as being 0.27% of the £294.67m budget for 2007/2008.

£803,000 still gets me thinking. Well if PR was scrapped we could turn up the wattage on the lamp posts so they go mental with the brightness levels. £803k is more than four times the amount TMBC want to save on dimming street lighting.

£803,000 is more than 5 times the amount that James Purnell spends on his expenses.

Tameside Council claims to be an "excellent council" by whom? A carefully select panel? A bunch of government auditors? "Independent" auditors who have donated money/services to the Labour party? I think normal Tameside Citizens would disagree with the running of the council. John Taylor at the last council meeting was piping on about standards within the council and how they couldn't do any better apart from a few health and safety issues such as fire extinguishers. Well Taylor, your standards ARE very lax if that's what you think. Come on, the wool has been pulled over our eyes for too long now. There is a need for a time for change and I can't wait for the 2008 elections! I say bring it on!

Editors Note: About the lack of communication between the officer at Tameside Council and John Bell. One wonders whether or not this is the same "junior" officer who wrote the bias pro EU article for the front page of the www.tameside.gov.uk website. They can only use that excuse so many times. We shall cover more on this later.
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