Councillors have own agenda

Time to act, the accident that was predictable, Whitby Gazette 3 February.

This is yet another instance of ‘the dog wagging the tail’ in relation to how local government works in this area.

What is supposed to happen is that councillors are elected to represent the views of their constituents, these views are supposed to be taken into account by the councillors, the councillors are then supposed to tell the council staff what the electorate, as a whole, require them to do on their behalf, and the council staff are supposed to get on with it, regardless of whether they agree with it or not.

In the old days this was known as ‘the master and servant relationship’.

In this area, many of the councillors seem to have their own agenda, this is could be something to do with vote catching, in turn, the council staff have another agenda, this could be to do with assembling an impressive CV to move on to better things, meanwhile the wishes of the electorate, who are financing the whole thing, are ignored.

Then we have the arrogance and indifference of some council staff, personified here, by the phrase, “the council say these improvements would cost £200,000” which I suppose, means that, these vital improvements are considered to be too expensive/not cost effective, and consequently, the local electorate can forget them.

This from the NYCC Highways Department which has just wasted £250,000 on the Irton Tree fiasco, and which has spent £330,000 on the Park and Ride scheme with nothing to show for it other than ‘the bollard which never rises’ on St Anne’s Staithe, which incidentally, is connected to two telephone lines, and which had run up a telephone bill of around £1200 the last time I enquired.

Farther afield we have the Knaresborough incinerator which is to be funded by what is known as a Private Finance Initiative/Scam, which will involve council tax payers spending hundreds of millions of pounds on funding interest on private sector loans, instead of NYCC borrowing the money from the government at a fraction of the cost; this could be the most expensive accounting trick that Yorkshire has ever pulled.

So, where are those councillors, with the ‘strong and clear voices’ we hear so much about at election time? Nick West says, “The scheme is there on the books, it’s just a case of if and when it can be implemented”, so it looks like it’s  over to you councillors, it’s time for those ‘strong and clear voices’ to make themselves heard.

Richard Ineson by email