As the chance to see a comedy show in Bassetlaw doesn’t come around too often, I went to the District Council’s Budget meeting last week.
Yes, the jokes were all a bit tired and some of the parts could have had better lines but it was the usual knockabout fun of two sets of grownups behaving in a very childish manner.
However, is this really the best way we have of deciding how to arrange the finances of our district for the next year?
The Tories know that they won’t be in power after May so they did their best to leave some hidden (and not so hidden) nasty surprises for whoever has to plan the budget next year, Labour wanted to keep their powder dry so didn’t make any suggestions as to what they would do instead and both sides spent too much time rehashing national political arguments and trading insults.
I realise that the budget for Bassetlaw is a very serious matter and there is a lot of hard work done by the council officers to help the councillors prepare it. I wish that those elected to represent us treated it with the same seriousness.
In May, most of us have a chance to vote for who will represent us on the council. It is time to get rid of councillors who put political party and dogma above our district and vote for those who put representing their voters above other concerns.
Treasurer, Bassetlaw and Sherwood Lib Dems
Whilst this letter wasn’t addressed to me, it had the word ‘comedy’ in it, and caught my eye for a number of reasons:
l First of all, Mr Duveen: what the hell do Bassetlaw and Sherwood Lib Dems have that can possibly be called ‘treasure’?
l Do you know that the Editor touted the idea of the Guardian filming this very meeting, and broadcasting it to the Bassetlaw public via our website?
l Do you know the council said ‘no’. It also said it would take them ONE YEAR to make a decision on it – no wonder A1 tenants have to wait aeons for a new bath;
l Are you aware that a senior councillor told a Worksop Guardian reporter that they couldn’t see it ever happening, and that they couldn’t see a need for it?
l Do you know the Manchester Evening News got their authority to approve the idea without the need for a year’s thinking time?
l Do you know that over the border, West Lindsey District Council have been broadcasting such meetings to their rate payers for years? They say it is because of the spread out and rural nature of the area they cover – whereas Bassetlaw is obviously a stifling urban metropolis, isn’t it?
Does all this mean that Bassetlaw Council needs a year to sort out something that will benefit the tax paying public enormously?
Does it mean the council doesn't care about people living out in places like Misterton, where getting to a council meeting isn't easy, even if you want to go.
Or does it mean the Editor is an unreasonable idiot who knows nowt about the complexities of smalltown politics?
Shall we put it to the Grundi vote: all in favour of filming council meetings...?