The real story about those ‘mad’ town hall bigwigs

Casting an eye over the RightMinds section of the Daily Mail the other day, this blog post by Chris Moncrieff stood out.

The title was right on the money, but the content tells only a fraction of the story.  By focusing on Council Tax payments, it misses the really outrageous behaviours that show just how much residents are at the the mercy of the mini potentates and unaccountable officer corps who work to an anti democratic agenda and take their lead from EU regulations instead of voters.

There is no mention of the explosion of revenue raising activites that now account for nearly 50% of town hall revenue receipts.  There is no mention of councils exceeding their authority by charging more than ‘reasonable costs’ when issuing summonses and liability orders.

There is no mention of the imposition of frequently damaging and increasingly expensive parking controls around shopping areas, designed to take more from our pockets to fund their pet schemes while basic service provision is eroded.  Councils are increasingly out of control and operating above the law.

And there is no mention of the way councils increasingly attempt to withhold information about their actions from the very people they are supposed to be serving and who pay to fund their existance.

Is it any wonder that in frustration and anger, with town halls stuffed with ignorant party hack councillors who have rings run around them by power hungry officers, we see this kind of response from people?  It is a consequence of banana republic ‘democracy’, lack of accountability and the absence of any check on officials acting as overlords, as our interests are treated as an annoying distraction from the business of social engineering and embedding the power of the bureaucrats and technocrats.

What was supposed to be the servant of the public, controlled by elected members chosen every four years – delivering essential services to the local community at a reasonable cost – has become a voracious parasite feeding off its host, doing us increasing harm and undermining our interests to serve theirs.  The issue is much wider than council tax payments. Moncrieff’s piece is a missed opportunity to connect the dots so more people can see what is being hidden from them in plain sight.

9 Responses to “The real story about those ‘mad’ town hall bigwigs”

  1. 1 Uncle Badger 27/11/2011 at 10:30 am

    I had personal experience of this myself, on Friday, when I visited a small rural town in Kent for the first time in about three months.

    It’s a fine town – an overgrown village, really – with an array of defiant little shops providing all the things you used to find in a country high st, before the retail cancer of charity shops moved in to occupy the spaces where independent retailers have been driven out of business by corporations and councils working in deadly symbiosis

    There, in all the shop windows, were posters appealing for signatures from shoppers, petitioning the local council not to install parking meters. Are parking meters needed there? Of course they aren’t. No one who lives or works in the town has suggested they are.

    But a year ago, one local councillor (penny to a pound a Lib-Dem) decided she would agitate to limit the parking time to half an hour, thus rendering the local restaurants and tea rooms redundant at a stroke and sending a chill through everyone else. Ten minutes in the greengrocers, ten in the butchers, ten in the bank? Oops! I’d better give the shoe mender a miss today.

    For all I know, the mad cow was properly tarred, feathered and dumped at sea in a tub, but either way that plan was defeated. What has replaced it is, clearly, driven by the same anti-car impulse, coupled with the iron will to ensure the local (unelected) bigwigs can go on being paid over £100,000 a year.

    Our councils are completely out of control, as AM says and as I have argued for years. The ‘officers’ are, increasingly entryists from the far Left who run policy rings around the mixture of bumbling do-gooders and egomaniacs who get elected to posture and collect ‘expenses’ for work their grandparents once did for the honour and pride of doing it.

    So council policy becomes ever more ‘green’ and ‘diverse’ and all.the rest of the Guardianista’s lexicon from hell, while the pigs at the top seek ever more bountiful troughs.

    And there is nothing you or I can do to stop it.

  2. 2 wiggiatlarge 27/11/2011 at 11:52 am

    This story has already been given prominence by Christopher Booker in the Telegraph,but it does no harm to keep on publicising it.What should also be highlighted is the fact that some councils are already threatening to increase tax above the inflation rate when the freeze ends and before in some cases,with the so called cuts and the obvious bloated nature of all levels in councils we should be reducing tax not increasing,but still they want more,in the first year of frozen council tax my bill still went up ,why,because the county council section was not frozen and nor was the police precept ,considering all the other revenue streams as mentioned in the article are still climbing there has been no freeze at all !!! but as long as the the COEs can spout in the publicly funded “freesheets” what a wonderfull job they are doing many people will believe that all is well at City hall and we can relax in the knowledge of what a marvellous job they are doing with our money.

  3. 3 right_writes 27/11/2011 at 12:28 pm

    Westminster Council are just about to kill the west end for good, by ending the free parking on single yellow lines and free parking on meters post 18:30 weekdays and all Sunday.

    Apparently that little bit of licence exercised by occasional evening revellers, churchgoers and evening workers is making the roads too busy.

    This insinuates that the only good town is an empty town…

    As brother Yank would say…

    Go figure.

  4. 4 Uncle Badger 27/11/2011 at 2:51 pm

    Westminster council? Tories aren’t they? Like that other towering genius, Boris ‘Bimbo’ Johnson who, I note, still seems to be operating Red Ken’s insane ‘congestion charge’.

    So much for Conservatives!

  5. 5 Edward. 27/11/2011 at 5:15 pm

    In local and central government, bigger = better.

    Oh no it doesn’t.

    Yet, it happened.

    Diktat and ‘mission creep’.

    The centralisation and agglomeration of local town halls into all powerful monsters who wield their authority in a dictatorial manner and absolutely disproportionate to their legal writ.

    The accelerated rise of the ‘hydra’ in recent times has been due, in no small to 13 years of rampant, scandalously unchecked Socialist maladministration. But, it should be noted, that this goes way back to Heath and the local government act of 1974 [England and Wales] clever [very], insidious and all the work and design of Brussels.

    Town councils, are the REAL enemies of the people, read any local newspaper or, view the fawning drivel on local TV and you will find that the councils are running the show, big brother is not in Brussels – he lives right next door.

    They need breaking, smashing into splinters, bring back the UDCs and proper accountability.

    Chance would be a fine thing.

  6. 6 Edward Spalton 27/11/2011 at 7:11 pm

    Hello Edward,

    I think you will find that the rot set in during the early Seventies when all sorts of things went wrong. A former leader of a large local authority from those days told me so. “I used to be almost like a prime minister” he said “Then you couldn’t do anything for Quangos – which all have to be paid for”. Part of the aim of the alleged reform of local government was to create a better career structure for officers. I think we can say that part was successful. My wife was in local government in Scotland during this time and said that every organisational convulsion produced larger numbers of higher paid, promoted posts. In England the smallest local authorities, Urban and Rural District Councils were abolished.

    Similar things happened in the National Health Service and other public organisations too. 1971 saw the modest beginnings of the system of pension, perks and privileges for MPs which had not existed before. Until then MPs got a pretty good salary (which they voted on themselves), first class rail travel to and from their constituencies, franking for their mail and 2,000 sheets of paper a year – no office, no researchers, no secretaries, no pension (unless they bought one themselves) and no duck houses or moat cleaning. One prescient MP spoke up against it – saying that the more like a normal, salaried, pensioned career Parliament became, the greater would become the power and inclination of the party selectors to choose only yes-men. That MP was Enoch Powell.

    Perhaps it’s just coincidence but it all happened at the time we were being edged towards the EEC where politics and administration always were better rewarded careers with rich pickings. Now even the councillors get paid and we get far worse value.


    Another Edward

  7. 7 Uncle Badger 27/11/2011 at 8:10 pm

    I agree with both the previous two commenters about the disastrous Heath-Walker reforms and the stealthy influence of the EU within local administration.

    However it would be wrong to overlook the zealotry of individual council ‘officers’ – notably those involved in ‘environmental’ areas, transport, planning and other opportunities for Leftists and ecoloons to dictate policy.

    The widely hated policy on waste disposal, while it stems from the EU, is so draconian in the UK because tin pot local ‘officers’ wish it to be and because councillors are too supine and ineffectual to stop them.

    It is significant that in the recent ‘Occupy’ protests, several reporters commented on the high percentage of ‘protestors’ who were local government workers (sic) – and more than once I heard it remarked on that they tended to be the most extreme Leftists of all the assembled rabble.

  8. 8 Edward. 27/11/2011 at 8:46 pm

    All excellent posts above, a special thanks to Mr. Edward Spalton, for details which flesh out a historical retrospective of our local government malformation.

    A word too, for a much maligned and misunderstood man and the greatest PM we never had, a man with a brilliant mind, a orator of such power he brought the house to a homage of silence but betrayed and back stabbed by the liberal cognoscenti [those of his own party too] and Euro-federasts, the nation still mourns you Enoch.

  9. 9 George Tetley 28/11/2011 at 9:04 am

    Now would it not be lovely,
    IF, elected councilors could bring with them there own administration and elections were held every 2 ( two ) years, out with the old in with the new , then, and only then, will you get what you paid for !

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