The Bickerstaffe Record

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Conservatives and public expenditure – West Lancashire as case study

11.24.08 | Comment?

I got some figures last week for how much has been spent/will be spent by West Lancashire District Council on considering complaints to the Standards Committee, and reviewinghearing cases about Parish Councillors.

 As a minimum, I calculate that, for complaints lodged since 29 August 2008, the Council will spend £30,000.  That’s based on a total of 29 formal complaints made, and the final total dependent on how far they all get through the process. The final figure could be much higher.

I had wanted to link my comment in on this to Steve’s recent post about Standards in Public Life, and to incorporate it into a wider analysis of political culture in West Lancashire – the overdue part 3 I promised to my part 2.  But there’s just not been the drafting time yet, and the figures are so shocking they deserve a post of their own anyway.

Let’s not beat about the bush.  Some Parish Councils in West Lancashire are dominated by Conservative councilllors and/or Conservative members, and the ones where the in-fighting, leading to this glut of complaints, is taking places are amongst these. 

I am not going to start naming names or Councils, even though I know them well enough, because to do so would be condone as worthy of public interest the whole unedifying spectacle of bitter personal rivalry and hatred.  As I will set our more fully, this does no-one any good, and simply re-inforces stereotpyes of polticians as power-crazed, corrupt, out-of-touch losers.

Sufficient to say that wasting £30,000 of taxpayers’ money on this nonsense is shameful. 

People in the Labour party squabble with each other too from time to time, but at least we do it for free. 

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