Get rid of council

Get rid of council

Get rid of council

First published in Letters
Last updated
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CAN someone tell me how we get rid of our council?

Over the past 20 years, the council has blown millions on the Barbican fiasco, the Hungate fiasco, Lendal Bridge, purple buses and expensive council offices.

It does not seem to make any difference which political party is running the council.

Maybe it is time to adopt the European system of an area authority, with for example Yorkshire making the big decisions based on sound economic sense.

C P Hird, York Road, Haxby, York.

Comments (11)

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2:27pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Badgers Drift says...

It does not seem to make any difference which political party is running the council.


You overlooked the constant that is behind the chaos we see despite political control - officers!

These politicised officers are in the driving seat. They put forward (control and manipulate) the preferred options for strategies and policies. Officers advise and members (councillors) advise.

These 'public servants' are by nature in favour of the public sector, and therefore totally biased towards the party which favours them and their jobs - Labour.

When labour are in control, it's easy - they collude and conspire with their comrades. They don't have to play the same games that they play when the other parties are in control. When the Lib dems were in power the preferred options were rigged, so that the decisions were directed to the ones the officers wanted.

An example of this was the affordable housing targets in 2008, which needed to be reviewed because since the 50% target was introduced in April 2005, York’s housing figures had declined each subsequent year, when almost every other council in the region and the country saw their’s increasing. The officers put forward two options:

1. Retain the 50% target and the threshold - retain the status quo.
2. Retain the 50% target and lower the threshold – making it harder for developers.

Neither of these options would have improved York’s housing output, and would have made it even worse. Owing to complaints from developers to Steve Galloway, he insisted on a third option, a sliding scale of targets (20% to 40%) based on site sizes rather than a threshold. This was only because those affected (developers) had spoken out against the stupidity and ****-eyed logic of the officers blatant attempt at rigging the options. Even then, the officers managed to find ways of avoiding applying the third option fully.

The point is, that if it hadn’t been for the complaints of the sector affected by these ridiculous officer preferred options, the officers would have got their way, and it had nothing to do with the Lib Dems.

In future, whoever is in power after the 2015 elections, there needs to be more control of officers to ensure that they refrain from their partisan politicised policy-fixing. Many senior officers and those responsible for policy advice need to be removed, including Kersten England who has allowed things to get worse since she came to York.
[quote] It does not seem to make any difference which political party is running the council. [/quote] You overlooked the constant that is behind the chaos we see despite political control - officers! These politicised officers are in the driving seat. They put forward (control and manipulate) the preferred options for strategies and policies. Officers advise and members (councillors) advise. These 'public servants' are by nature in favour of the public sector, and therefore totally biased towards the party which favours them and their jobs - Labour. When labour are in control, it's easy - they collude and conspire with their comrades. They don't have to play the same games that they play when the other parties are in control. When the Lib dems were in power the preferred options were rigged, so that the decisions were directed to the ones the officers wanted. An example of this was the affordable housing targets in 2008, which needed to be reviewed because since the 50% target was introduced in April 2005, York’s housing figures had declined each subsequent year, when almost every other council in the region and the country saw their’s increasing. The officers put forward two options: 1. Retain the 50% target and the threshold - retain the status quo. 2. Retain the 50% target and lower the threshold – making it harder for developers. Neither of these options would have improved York’s housing output, and would have made it even worse. Owing to complaints from developers to Steve Galloway, he insisted on a third option, a sliding scale of targets (20% to 40%) based on site sizes rather than a threshold. This was only because those affected (developers) had spoken out against the stupidity and ****-eyed logic of the officers blatant attempt at rigging the options. Even then, the officers managed to find ways of avoiding applying the third option fully. The point is, that if it hadn’t been for the complaints of the sector affected by these ridiculous officer preferred options, the officers would have got their way, and it had nothing to do with the Lib Dems. In future, whoever is in power after the 2015 elections, there needs to be more control of officers to ensure that they refrain from their partisan politicised policy-fixing. Many senior officers and those responsible for policy advice need to be removed, including Kersten England who has allowed things to get worse since she came to York. Badgers Drift
  • Score: -95

2:28pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Badgers Drift says...

Oops, sorry please substitute the following above...

These politicised officers are in the driving seat. They put forward (control and manipulate) the preferred options for strategies and policies. Officers advise and members (councillors) DECIDE!!!
Oops, sorry please substitute the following above... These politicised officers are in the driving seat. They put forward (control and manipulate) the preferred options for strategies and policies. Officers advise and members (councillors) DECIDE!!! Badgers Drift
  • Score: -76

3:14pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Jonothon says...

Another case of have a swipe at the council first and check your facts later.

Can CP Hird explain what the purple buses have to do with the Council?
Or Hungate for that matter. The builders held up progress whilst they tried to renegotiate a deal that they had already signed up to.
Then there's the Barbican built in 1889 under another Labour Council, and very successful it was too, until the LibDems demolished the swimming pool promising that a hotel would be built and citizens would have access to its pool.
It was to have been where the large area of wasteland is now
Another case of have a swipe at the council first and check your facts later. Can CP Hird explain what the purple buses have to do with the Council? Or Hungate for that matter. The builders held up progress whilst they tried to renegotiate a deal that they had already signed up to. Then there's the Barbican built in 1889 under another Labour Council, and very successful it was too, until the LibDems demolished the swimming pool promising that a hotel would be built and citizens would have access to its pool. It was to have been where the large area of wasteland is now Jonothon
  • Score: 39

3:55pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Badgers Drift says...

It is Jonothon who should get his facts right....

The Hungate fiasco C P Hird refers to is where the council squandered, and lost millions on the site and plans for its offices there. This is nothing to do with the Crosby Lend-Lease consortium housing site.
It is Jonothon who should get his facts right.... The Hungate fiasco C P Hird refers to is where the council squandered, and lost millions on the site and plans for its offices there. This is nothing to do with the Crosby Lend-Lease consortium housing site. Badgers Drift
  • Score: -63

4:02pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Badgers Drift says...

Jonothon wrote:
Another case of have a swipe at the council first and check your facts later. Can CP Hird explain what the purple buses have to do with the Council? Or Hungate for that matter. The builders held up progress whilst they tried to renegotiate a deal that they had already signed up to. Then there's the Barbican built in 1889 under another Labour Council, and very successful it was too, until the LibDems demolished the swimming pool promising that a hotel would be built and citizens would have access to its pool. It was to have been where the large area of wasteland is now
You conveniently omit to mention the fact that the pool at the Barbican had problems, and the council was losing £800,000/year in business rates (ultimately paid to Westminster) running the Barbican auditorium.

The 'wasteland' is mainly the housing site which stalled owing to the credit crunch, and had an unworkable planning consent through a too high (25%) affordable (social) housing requirement. Persimmon have now submitted a revised planning application for 187 flats with only 10% affordable/social showing that the council's current 20% target on brownfield sites is in many cases prohibitive.

The hotel site where the pool originally stood is undeveloped because York has been swamped with hotel developments.
[quote][p][bold]Jonothon[/bold] wrote: Another case of have a swipe at the council first and check your facts later. Can CP Hird explain what the purple buses have to do with the Council? Or Hungate for that matter. The builders held up progress whilst they tried to renegotiate a deal that they had already signed up to. Then there's the Barbican built in 1889 under another Labour Council, and very successful it was too, until the LibDems demolished the swimming pool promising that a hotel would be built and citizens would have access to its pool. It was to have been where the large area of wasteland is now[/p][/quote]You conveniently omit to mention the fact that the pool at the Barbican had problems, and the council was losing £800,000/year in business rates (ultimately paid to Westminster) running the Barbican auditorium. The 'wasteland' is mainly the housing site which stalled owing to the credit crunch, and had an unworkable planning consent through a too high (25%) affordable (social) housing requirement. Persimmon have now submitted a revised planning application for 187 flats with only 10% affordable/social showing that the council's current 20% target on brownfield sites is in many cases prohibitive. The hotel site where the pool originally stood is undeveloped because York has been swamped with hotel developments. Badgers Drift
  • Score: -77

5:56pm Wed 16 Apr 14

non pedalling pete says...

Jonothon I know I am getting old but I remember the cattle market being where the barbican stands and I was not around in 1889 when you say it was built.
Jonothon I know I am getting old but I remember the cattle market being where the barbican stands and I was not around in 1889 when you say it was built. non pedalling pete
  • Score: -39

10:47pm Wed 16 Apr 14

GetCarlos says...

Council officers are not 'public Servants' they are qualified professionals, members of professional institutions with letters after their names and degrees and years of experience, while decisions they make will keep some happy every decisions has some opposition, regardless of scale or impact.

What I personally feel the complaining members of the public like the original poster don't understand is that council workers are open to constant criticism watever decisions are made. Everyone has their views on how public or local money should be spent, but if you feel that strongly about it maybe you should run for councillor , maybe get qualified in a professional field and work for the council... But I'll warn you now the pay is rubbish, you get no thanks for what you do and the abuse you are exposed to from members of the public is terrible.
Council officers are not 'public Servants' they are qualified professionals, members of professional institutions with letters after their names and degrees and years of experience, while decisions they make will keep some happy every decisions has some opposition, regardless of scale or impact. What I personally feel the complaining members of the public like the original poster don't understand is that council workers are open to constant criticism watever decisions are made. Everyone has their views on how public or local money should be spent, but if you feel that strongly about it maybe you should run for councillor , maybe get qualified in a professional field and work for the council... But I'll warn you now the pay is rubbish, you get no thanks for what you do and the abuse you are exposed to from members of the public is terrible. GetCarlos
  • Score: 1

11:03am Thu 17 Apr 14

BL2 says...

It's the elected councillors that are the problem. The qualified officers can do their jobs and provide facts and figures and the councillors say "I don't like that" and that's the end of it! They should be removed!
It's the elected councillors that are the problem. The qualified officers can do their jobs and provide facts and figures and the councillors say "I don't like that" and that's the end of it! They should be removed! BL2
  • Score: 3

11:26am Thu 17 Apr 14

CaroleBaines says...

Fully agree with this letter. Politicians are dangerous amateurs who have no grasp of transport, environment or whatever their role is, being allowed to tamper with City infrastructure and policy. No expertise should equal no power, would love to see local councils be replaced with something far more professional and far less prone to fiasco.
Fully agree with this letter. Politicians are dangerous amateurs who have no grasp of transport, environment or whatever their role is, being allowed to tamper with City infrastructure and policy. No expertise should equal no power, would love to see local councils be replaced with something far more professional and far less prone to fiasco. CaroleBaines
  • Score: 4

12:12pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Badgers Drift says...

BL2 wrote:
It's the elected councillors that are the problem. The qualified officers can do their jobs and provide facts and figures and the councillors say "I don't like that" and that's the end of it! They should be removed!
Sorry, BL2, youi are being naive here.

Officers are as much part of the problem as the councillors.

They are deeply politicised, and are either complicit with councillors on dogmatic ideological policy-making, and in some cases driving it. They manipulate the process to get the results they want. Surveys and consultations are rigged and manipulated. They often withold information to skew the outcome of studies and trials, just like they did with Lendal Bridge and Get York Building which both fell under Merrett coincidentally.

It has been going on for years, and has worsened under Kersten England who has allowed it to reach levels of abuse which are totally unacceptable. The only solution is a clear out of the regime that is driving this, starting at the top.
[quote][p][bold]BL2[/bold] wrote: It's the elected councillors that are the problem. The qualified officers can do their jobs and provide facts and figures and the councillors say "I don't like that" and that's the end of it! They should be removed![/p][/quote]Sorry, BL2, youi are being naive here. Officers are as much part of the problem as the councillors. They are deeply politicised, and are either complicit with councillors on dogmatic ideological policy-making, and in some cases driving it. They manipulate the process to get the results they want. Surveys and consultations are rigged and manipulated. They often withold information to skew the outcome of studies and trials, just like they did with Lendal Bridge and Get York Building which both fell under Merrett coincidentally. It has been going on for years, and has worsened under Kersten England who has allowed it to reach levels of abuse which are totally unacceptable. The only solution is a clear out of the regime that is driving this, starting at the top. Badgers Drift
  • Score: -15

7:19pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Jonothon says...

non pedalling pete wrote:
Jonothon I know I am getting old but I remember the cattle market being where the barbican stands and I was not around in 1889 when you say it was built.
Whats a century between friends
[quote][p][bold]non pedalling pete[/bold] wrote: Jonothon I know I am getting old but I remember the cattle market being where the barbican stands and I was not around in 1889 when you say it was built.[/p][/quote]Whats a century between friends Jonothon
  • Score: -2

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