by danielbarker on 13 August, 2017
For years, Mike Bird has been trying to draw a distinction between his brand of Conservatism and the Government’s. He and his local Conservatives have supposedly been on our side, fighting against cuts imposed on us by central government. I believe that the Walsall Tory response to the Council decision to buy part of the Saddlers Centre suggests that the truth is quite different.
At the meeting held in private session about this, Tories claimed that the council could not be trusted to run the Saddlers Centre because it had failed to run other services under its control effectively. In other words, the council should have less power to run things. They are therefore justifying central government cuts inflicted upon Walsall; after all, why do we need all this funding if we are so bad at spending it effectively?
The truth is Walsall Council, like many other councils up and down the country, has been handicapped by unjustifiable central government cuts. These cuts are the reason that libraries have been closed and grass cutting has been reduced, not any inherent inability of council officers to run services.
What is the Conservative alternative to not buying part of the Saddlers Centre, leave things to market forces? Well that’s worked well so far hasn’t it!
In fact, of all of the parties represented on Walsall Council, only the Tories are opposed to this investment, presumably because of their ideological obsession with private sector ownership. Blimey, if even UKIP can see the economic sense in backing it it must be a winner! Strange then that the Express and Star who broke the story should parrot Tory statements word for word rather than present a more balanced picture…………………………………….
If you know your local political history, you’ll know that from the end of the Nineteenth Century up until the Second World War, Birmingham City Council ran a number of services (subsequently nationalised and privatised) such as water, gas and electricity quite effectively. In fact, historians have argued they ran it more efficiently and at less cost to the public than is done currently.
When market forces and the private sector have let us down, it is entirely right for local government to look back to what has worked in the past. Other local councils such as Wolverhampton have invested successfully in their town centres, so why can’t we?
The Tories may have given up on Walsall Town Centre, but the Liberal Democrats have not!
Content published and promoted by Roy Sheward on behalf of Dan Barker (Liberal Democrats) all at 144 Redhouse Lane, Walsall, WS5 0DBLeave a comment