Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Power corrupts... and oh so quickly for the Greens in Brighton.

I have just been reading about Green Councillor Jason Kitcat meeting Grant Schapps (link: Jason Kitcat's Blog), a meeting held to see how councils could deliver better services to their residents.

However, Kitcat seemed less interested in what the council could for their (already squeezed) council tax payers, and far more interested in what council tax payers could do for the council and councillors. His suggestions included higher pay for council workers, and increased allowances for councillors - this time for childcare.

Of course council tax makes this kind of increase very obvious to the tax payer as there is a direct link - so there were also suggestions about moving away from council tax to a different form of funding - which would undoubtedly make it harder for residents to see where their money was going. Rather rich from a councillor who says openness is a priority!

This is all particularly interesting following an article on another Brighton news site about the Greens sudden change of attitude towards expenses. Particularly how this has changed having taken office (Link: News From Brighton). While in opposition the Greens said that an increase in allowances was 'Generous' - but nodded through the keeping of these smae 'Generous' allowances as one of the first acts of the new Green council!

If the Greens persist in making the public sector as comfy as possible at the expense of the fragile private sector, soon the private sector will be destroyed and noone will be creating wealth to keep the public sector comfy. So much for Greens supporting 'sustainability'!

1 comment:

  1. Bit harsh Paul - my first question to Grant Shapps was whether he'd increase Brighton & Hove's funding, which he refused to consider. That was putting the city's interests first.

    But when asked what could be done to increase the quality and diversity of councillors many from all parties, including myself, raised the allowances and conditions. Whether you like it or not, the timings of meetings and childcare arrangements are important for younger and especially women candidates coming forward to the council. And it's right that those issues are discussed.

    Your point on council tax is completely missing the point. The Tory government are reforming local government finance. Council tax is an unfair tax which could be replaced with something much fairer, like land value tax. You would still be very clear on how much you were paying to your council, no reduction in openness!

    I would also like to point out that as the News from Brighton report you link to says, I abstained on that allowances report - my personal position has not changed.