The Conservatives model their councils on cattle trucks….
So, Barnet council has decided to adopt the ‘Easyjet’ model of running councils. Having flown on said airline many moons ago I have to say the comparison is far from flattering; popular they maybe but this is primarily with the terminally short of cash as an inexpensive way of flying; cattle in a truck however probably enjoy more comfort. According to The Guardian report;
“Barnet wants householders to pay extra to jump the queue for planning consents, in the way budget airlines charge extra for priority boarding. And as budget airline passengers choose to spend their budget on either flying at peaktime or having an in-flight meal, recipients of adult social care in Barnet will choose to spend a limited budget on whether to have a cleaner or a respite carer or even a holiday to Eastbourne. Other examples of proposed reforms include reducing the size of waste bins to minimise the cost of council rubbish collections.”
I actually agree with the first proposal; if people are looking to ‘jump the que’ with no legitimate reason just so they can cram in that extra jacuzzi before the garden party season kicks in they should be made to fork out extra cash. However, the second and third proposals are very wrong, to say the absolute least and once again show the Conservative predilection for picking on societies most vulnerable members. Needless to say that people who benefit from adult social care need all the help they can get and it needs to be effectively targeted but the argument for giving them their own budget is clearly in my eyes in the hope they fritter it away and so the council can then say tough luck and abdicate it’s duty to care. It is also worth pointing that the party that was so desperately concerned about the failings in the Baby P case now sees social care as a potentially fruitful area for swinging cut-backs. How long before we see people falling through the cracks in Barnet and David Cameron bringing that one up at PMQ’s?
The third proposal will, of course, necessarily have a detrimental impact on the local environment. So much for the fabled concern expressed by the totemic ‘green squiggly tree’. If this is a blueprint for Conservative government then I can only say this depresses me about the prospects for Britain for the next say 10 years; also, it shows that Liberal Democrats who run coalition councils with the Conservative Party (like they do in Leeds) have to seriously consider the future of such arrangements unless, of course, they want to be party to turning areas into glorified laboratory’s for this social experiment.