Monday, October 05, 2015

From a Rotten Borough to Rotten Parishes

The proposals by Swindon Borough Council to create parish councils to cover the entirety of the Borough of Swindon should be exposed for the rotten idea it is.

After the regular rises of council tax by the Labour administration, the Conservatives in Swindon have made constant political capital ever since that they have not raised council tax since 2010.

The ever increasing (and shifting) demands on SBC, namely adult social care, make this 'no increase ever' position, look increasingly at odds with helping those most in need.

Rather than bite the bullet and be brave enough to admit that being responsible means paying a bit more, SBC has proposed to hive off most local authority jobs to new parish councils, allowing them to be seen as the bad guys, with the separate cost of the parish handily itemised in the SBC council tax bill.

The result? SBC continues to 'operate' (but what will it be left to do?) at 0% increase in council tax, therefore allowing Swindon Tories to save face (and campaign on it in future elections), whilst being seen to give power back to more 'responsive' parish councils (because if they're small, they must be effective right? Because in the true-blue handbook, small is beautiful, especially when talking about government). The parish councils, which will no doubt be campaigned for and possibly filled by Labour, seen as one step by them to regain control of SBC, who will then take all the flak and blame for the increase in council tax to pay for the new parishes.

In one perfect move, Swindon's Tories are seen to give power back in a micro-devolution, whilst making Swindon Labour shoulder the rise in council tax to pay for the parishes and at the same time, getting a load of SBC services off 'their' books.

Are Swindon Tories about to oversee the final dismantling of Swindon Borough Council? Seems so, and they're going to get Labour to pay for it!

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