Tuesday 1 February 2011

War breaks out bewteen central and local gov

With local and central government both manoeuvring to avoid the blame for service cuts, open conflict between the two has been simmering for sometime.

The bullish Tory Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is the key player from the Government point of view and then there are several Labour council leaders setting themselves up to be the Derek Hatton of 2011.

One of them is Nottingham City Council’s Jon Collins who recently fired off a stunning attack at Pickles and Housing Minister Grant Shapps.

Collins’ outburst came after Pickles and Shapps pushed the council to publish details of all its expenditure above £500 on line – and in doing so highlighted several examples of council waste, taken from newspaper stories and FOI requests, which they said might have been avoided.

Refusing the demand, Collins said: “Grant Shapps is a fool. He’s risking his already risible reputation and fast becoming as big a buffoon as his boss Eric Pickles.

“Only such a fool would think he can attempt to discredit us with nothing more than half-witted and inaccurate headlines from the ever more partisan newspapers and selective extracts from FOI requests and expect to be taken seriously.

“He’s even more of a fool if he’s had civil servants trawling the internet to find these stories for him because that would mean he’s using public money and civil service time to help him make cheap political points – which is illegal - when he should be focussing on the housing brief that is, after all, his job.”

Don’t think Pickles is the type to take that kind of abuse lying down.


Richard T said...

Central government and particularly this one is prone to willing ends without providing the means and then pillorying local councils for their 'failures'. More power to Jon Collins' elbow say I.

john in cheshire said...

I sincerely hope Eric Pickles wins this battle. It's about time the socialists in local government were neutralised.

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