I was watching Question Time this week as Liz Truss had resigned where a lady veteran called the politicians out for sniping and playing games, saying the public have had enough.
I couldn’t agree more… it’s time to deal with the realities of decisions head on and stop with the soundbites.
It’s time to stop looking to impress No10 and focus on the needs of residents. Do those at No10 really know what they are doing?
When I first started in local politics and heard stories of Cllrs banging on the tables of procurement officers, demanding contracts were issued… is that really how the council worked?
I asked questions about finance with naive eyes which triggered new thought processes in senior management, resulting in CIPFA being brought in to ask questions and completely change the way finances are done.
Cllrs claiming the credit when something goes well or looks good, yet running for the hills when things go wrong or the PR optics don’t fit the current narrative is essentially BS.
Officers do 90% of the work and their intent is always to get the best for residents so let’s start to recognise that fact.
Let’s stop talking about green credentials while at the same time looking to build 2,000 flats and homes on Maidenhead golf course and destroying “1,000 ancient oaks” into the bargain, whatever the real number of trees, it’s too many. This project is all about the numbers to pay down the £200,000,000+ debt… I’ve suggested a few times an alternative solution, thinking Wentworth, that this could be done by building much fewer multi-million pound homes which would retain the golf course and generate revenue.
Just look at the Bray Leisure Centre, which should have been paid down by the Magnet Leisure Centre sale and how horribly wrong that assumption went, essentially generating half what had been projected in a world where property developments just don’t go wrong… they are right now and we need to own it and work out solutions and not stick with the old thinking on other existing development projects.
This week the Cabinet will be shining a light on their vision for reducing carbon in RBWM and hats off to Cllr Donna Stimson for creating the governance to start cracking this nut. But when I read quotes of millions of pounds to change boilers, which will only pick up just over 10% of the savings needed, my brain asks why we are not looking to invest in energy solutions using The River Thames. This could feed the local network and start taking control back from energy companies who have proven themselves untrustworthy, looking to rape residents of any small savings & investments they may have.
Also to be discussed, electric vehicle charging points but the paper doesn’t say much. It essentially repeats a conversation I had with an officer a few months ago and doesn’t give any details, leaving the options completely open. I want to see what’s on offer from the companies, who know we have no capital available and will be looking to maximise their profits.
How can this “only electric” solution policy be right when we hear the current power stations are struggling to produce the basic needs of today, never mind when millions of cars will need to plug in and charge up… it’s fiction, but it’s OK, who can afford an electric car right now anyway?
If the residents want the best decision making locally, they need to ensure a mixed bag of Cllrs after the next election. Recognising some parties are whipped to toe the No10 line, potentially preventing the best decisions for local communities being made, residents need to vote accordingly.