Recently the Post rhetorically asked Durford Road crossroads for a comment. It was not as unhinged as it may appear.
The Post had been reporting on an exchange between Ham Barn roundabout and Healthy Streets Petersfield (via Twitter accounts). That they got a comment from Durford Road crossroads (pictured above) was perhaps a little unsettling...
In essence it thought effective road safety improvements to the crossroads were unlikely because Hampshire County Council Highways Authority had no money.
The council has no money because of the Conservative spending cuts of the past 12 years. This was a clever wheeze. Things like neglected, life-saving road-safety measures would be blamed on local authorities and not the government.
But wherever the blame falls, the swingeing Conservative government austerity cuts have been disastrous, resulting in a very poor economic performance.
Public services have been destroyed and the National Health Service brought to the point of collapse, and most of us are worse off now than before the 2008 financial crisis – a crisis caused by “light-touch” regulation that failed to control bankers’ reckless greed. It needed massively-costly state intervention to avoid a complete meltdown of the entire economy.
However, by 2010 the Labour government had recovered the economy. It was growing at around 2.5 per cent a year
The stated aim of the disastrous mini-budget of September 23 this year was to return the economy to similar growth levels. This was a damning admission that Conservative governments’ policies since 2010 had been wrong and very damaging to both the economy and society.
This mini-budget cost us a £65bn intervention from the Bank of England to protect pension providers. It also forced a truly embarrassing U-turn from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Events since have shown exactly how out of touch the new Conservative Party leaders are.
U-turns are not unknown to our own Conservative dominated district council.
According to council leader Richard Millard, until very recently the merger with Havant Borough Council was the only way forward. Then suddenly he said it was not.
Taking back control would free East Hampshire from the unelected bureaucrats in Havant, opening up endless opportunities he promised.
The way this very embarrassing U-turn was executed is deeply concerning. It appeared to be the unilateral decision of Cllr Millard. There was absolutely no debate about it in the council chamber.
The district council has been Conservative for so long he appears to think he can ignore any semblance of representative democracy.
Cllr Millard’s unilateral decision to go it alone came about a year after a report by David J Bowles found the council making bad and costly unchallenged policies in a culture of bullying and intimidation. Councillors merely ‘noted’ the report. Perhaps this inaction allowed the potentially bad policy of separating from Havant to go unchallenged.
And topically I wonder what it has cost us tax payers to get out of a waste collection contract, a contract held by Havant Borough Council.
Our council leader has taken back control by making a new contract with Norse South East that comes into effect in December.
Why was the control now taken back lost in the first place?
Absolute power may not always corrupt absolutely but is does tend to result in dreadful policies that can waste huge amounts our council taxes.