Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mechanics' To Become Swindon Borough Council's Defining Moment?

The roof of the Mechanic's Institute is weak enough to be in danger of collapse and Friday's press release from Swindon Borough Council details the removal of the roof before that happens.

After much politicking in recent years, the announcement that the Council were to carry out the emergency repair work on the Mechanics had the feel of a sudden redemptive move by a drunk waking up the morning after. There was much throwing up of specially made banners and hoardings and portacabins and then... little visible work appeared to happen.

The fact the roof was about to fall on Swindon Commercial Services workers explains that.

In the intervening days and weeks between SCS moving in and today the full-extent of the works needed to be taken has become starkly clear to all involved. There seemed to be an attempt to soften the blow when the building's condition was given an interim assessment in this press release. No simple quick fix, photo-op and glory taking by councillors seems possible and thank goodness.

Swindon Centric Says ; The fate of this building represents perfectly the fate of Swindon Borough Council and it's ruling Conservative party. What outwardly seemed solid-enough clearly, after investigation, is dangerously in need of work before it collapses in on itself and showers everyone, councillors, council workers and locals with debris.

If this weekend's announcement of careful, painstaking dismantling and repair of the northern roof is followed through, this could just mark a brave (a word never used in politics, for it represents a true decision that can lead to political suicide for the people concerned) move that Swindon Borough Council's ruling executive needed to make.

Does today mark the day our Council finally chose to be a council?

Only the fate of the roof in Emlyn Square can be the marker for that (appropriately, it's currently covered in Conservative-blue plastic sheeting).

No comments: