Thursday, February 07, 2008

So it is official - the LibDems running Liverpool are a load of cowboys!

Warning - satirical post to follow

It's cowboy time (again) - can you hear "High Noon" playing in the background?

Today's Liverpool Echo front page is a political masterpiece

And the newspaper is so thrilled with it that they have made their own PDF of it, for the first time as far as I know, although I will stand corrected.

I have tried to download it and display it here but my system wont let me, the council internet connection on my council laptop told me it was forbidden to me and my own laptop on my own broadband connection here has crashed trying. But I will link to the story and let you have a go at downloading it yourself. Certainly I am minded to have the front page framed and hang it up in our office. What I have managed to capture is an extract from the photo on the Echo's website. It will give you a wee taster of the real thing.

So what is it all about? What is the woman going on about?

Liverpool City COuncil has today been officially given a One star rating by the National Audit Commission - it is now officially the worst council in the country.

The Echo's front page is styled as a movie poster.

The movie, which is a category "18" is called "The Lone Star State" and stars Warren Bradley (LibDem leader of the council) as "The man with no cash" and Colin Hilton (the Chief Executive) as "The loan arranger". There is a huge coloured photo of Councillor Bradley wearing a cowboy outfit, a stetson with an 08 badge on the front and a sheriff's badge. He is set in front of a US mountainous landscape - Texas one assumes?

The words which accompany this magnificence read

"WE SHOULD be throwing our Stetsons in the air and celebrating being European Capital of Culture.

But today we are drowning our sorrows in the last-chance saloon.

Welcome to the Lone Star State.

Instead of revelling in 08 pride, Liverpool is reeling from being awarded a single star by the Audit Commission, making us England’s worst-run local authority.

The council gets a bashing, but as today’s national radio bulletins will testify, it's our entire city that’s held open to ridicule.

We’ve spent a generation rebuilding our image after the misery of Thatcherism, Hatton and Militant. In terms of economic regeneration we’ve done a brilliant job.

But reputation-wise today’s damning dose of shame is in danger of undoing years of hard graft.

Council leaders can bleat about the Audit Commission’s criteria being a blunt instrument. They can whinge about lack of government support. And they can point with some satisfaction to good showings in education, social services and the environment.

But council taxpayers deserve and demand sound financial management. Services have improved and council taxes are no longer the country’s highest, but it’s been achieved at the expense of not building up an emergency fund.

Now we’re £60m adrift.

Cancelling planned 08 Culture events must not, will not, happen. So where’s the money coming from? Let’s see the plan and understand the pain we’ll have to go through.

Sort this out now for the sake of a city on a tightrope spanning success on one side and another generation of scorn on the other.

Make no mistake – the May elections loom and the natives are restless.

Time for the sheriff and his deputies to hitch up their gunbelts and earn their spurs.

Or saddle up and move on out of town."

I guess that says it all really. Even the Echo has finally had enough of this outfit.


Anonymous said...

That's rich coming from a party who have not even produced an opposition budget since would you lot do any better with Joe the blow incharge!

a very public sociologist said...

Given all this to what extent can the problems be laid at the door of City of Culture spending?

Anonymous said...

(Scouseboy) To answer anonymous: Why should Labour produce a budget? They dont have the same amount of officer time at budget time as the Fib dems do.
To answer the sociologist: The Lib Dems have had 4 years to prepare for Capital of culture, The government told them at the time there would be no extra money, Storey, Henshaw et al knew all of this, it is pure inept financial management on the part of the Lib Dems. Bring on next May!!!!

Anonymous said...

To answer Scouseboy (Great name by the way!!!) actually, the Labour Group have as much right to officer time as the current Administration. They complain year in, year out about various issues with the budgets that are set but don't bother to provide an alternative...Is that because the Leadership of Cllr Anderson and Co are not capable?

Louise Baldock said...

You will realise when you are in opposition, anonymous LibDem, that it is possible to spend a long time putting a budget together that will then be rejected wholesale by the party in power. Just as it is possible to spend a long time working on scrutiny panels or in select committees only to have the whole thing ignored by the Executive Board.

Liverpool Labour Group are extremely capable and ready to take over the finances of this city. And let's face it, we couldnt do even fractionally as badly as the LibDems in charge of the most financially incompetent council in the country.

Anonymous said...

Really? I wonder if that was what Derek Hatton said when they nearly bankrupt the city and had to resort to foreign loans! Face it-The current Labour group are struggling talent-wise. Paul Brant for Leader and we may see some change!

Oh and for the record I have actually voted Labour for the past 23 years!

Old "Ex MIlitant" Dick said...

Anonymouse (graet name by the way)there's One thing about me old mate degsy, you may or may not have noticed that the corpy houses he borrowed all the money for are still looking good after over 20 years, whcih bearring in mind the hovels bellway are planning to build on Edge Lane with a30 yr lifde span makes me want to restart Militant agian, any oen fancy it>?