Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m depressed.
I know that the SCC Tory administration are supposed to have hearts as hard and slippery as greasy bullets, consciences as elastic as support stockings and moral principles as indefensible as the Maginot line (I also know – because they have confessed it -that they read my blog, AVIDLY, I hope!).
But it takes a very hard-hearted, very conscienceless and very very unprincipled representative of the people to support the cutting of all our Suffolk School Crossing Patrols for the sake of an annual £174,000.
But they did – speaking their votes aloud – 40 to our 26.
Because (I quote) ‘we have to face it – in this country we have simply been living beyond our means – and we can no longer do so!”
Living beyond our means? I should coco – in the last year alone, these very same prudent guardians have spent
- HALF A MILLION POUNDS on gagging orders for departed staff
- £122,000 for the Chief Executive to spend (at her discretion) on unspecified consultancy with three extraordinarily retiring, unadvertised and otherwise little-known firms
- over 3p in every one of our council tax pounds on the salaries of their senior management and
- THREE QUARTERS OF A MILLION POUNDS on something called Suffolk Circle – which they brought in to show Suffolk over-50s how to pay to keep themselves busy and be good neighbours to each other.
(It makes you wonder what kind of neighbours our Tory councillors can be themselves. Most of us in Suffolk know that neighbourliness comes free in our kindly county. )
I admit to being ill-tempered when posting this.
And with due cause.
I have just spent six interminable hours in the council chamber listening to an almost unbelievable degree of smug complacency from our Tory majority as they justified their horrible choices. Complacency that dismissed such issues as cutting (oh no, suddenly its ‘divesting’ ) the road crossing patrols, abandoning the eXplore card, removing inconvenient buses because the countryside is so big and they’re all right Jack they have CARS, as (again I quote) ‘tosh.’
Woodbridge should be proud of itself. It punched well above its weight: the deputy head, PTA chair and ex- PTA chair of St. Mary’s plus various parents and councillors present a petition to Guy Mc Gregor on cutting the School Crossing patrol. Afterwards, no less than three brave Woodbridge souls asked excellent public questions – again of Guy McGregor -on cutting the St Mary’s School Crossing patrol, on cutting the eXplore card and on the cancelled buses. They got what could only be described as unhelpful answers.
During the afternoon I spoke four times, forcefully and increasingly desperately. But the forces of reason (I would say the quiet voice of reason – but I was far from quiet) lost every single point and the conservative budget goes ahead in all its tarnished glory.
So that’s it for SCC’s cheap and effective school crossing patrols, the eXplore card, many of our scheduled buses… I hope every single councillor who voted for it will feel proud of themselves! And I hope every resident of Suffolk will remember which people voted for it.
It occurs to me that to some people present this was all just a game, where winning was all (“No, no, they do but jest. Poison in jest“). In case they have got to believing their own rhetoric I will just pass on the words of a Woodbridge constituent who was present :
I stayed for the vote on the first amendment but was so angry I had to leave after that. I was totally appalled at their attitude and a complete lack of any decent argument for scrapping crossing patrols. I can honestly say I have never been so angry in my life. I had a rant on radio Suffolk when I left the building.
I think the fact that you can keep up your amazing enthusiasm whilst surrounded by a set of people who ( in my 12 year old sons words) would climb over a glass wall to see what’s on the other side, is incredible.
They are arrogant, unyielding and most definitely not representing the people they serve. Unlike you.
Because I believe in the principle that injustice – like justice – should not just be done, but SEEN to be done, I will, when the voting records appear, post a link to the names of everyone who voted.
Whether with their consciences or not.
Chengyu for the day:
Chengyu for the day:
风 雨 如 晦 (feng yu ru hui)
wind and rain sweeping across a gloomy sky eg: a grim situation