Over the past few months, the Tory City Councillors in Quedgeley have led a rather subversive campaign in local media, aimed at setting locals against the Parish Council. It is becoming clear that they are perturbed that they have no dictatorial control over the work that the parish does.
“Of course, as residents of Quedgeley we also pay a precept for our Parish Council. I would urge my fellow Parish Councillors to look at the services that they provide and how cost-effective they are. Are the services that they provide ones that we, the residents want? Have they looked at efficiencies and
streamlining? Is there any duplication of services that can be avoided? These are the questions that we should all be asking. In the current economic climate, we have to make sure that every pound is being used in the right areas so that we get the services we want.
Whilst I would have preferred such a statement being said to the council itself, but the comment I thought was a fair one, we should be looking at all the services, and residents should do as well, so, whilst a bit out-of-order, I assumed the best of intentions.
“I trust that Quedgeley Parish Council, which charges additional amounts to residents, is also examining ways to cut costs.”
Again, on its own, fairly innocuous, but I started to detect a trend emerging. My suspicions were confirmed on reading Councillor Fred Wood‘s Facebook page, where he had posted the following;
“From an interesting meeting yesterday it seems the Quedgeley Parish Council would like to extend its service provision. On the surface this might look like a good idea but at what cost? Unlike the City that is facing budgetary cuts, the Parish can set its precept unhindered. So let us hope that its ambitions do not translate as higher taxes for Quedgeley Residents.”
Now he knows this will not translate to higher taxes as the precept is at 3%. Yes it can be set unhindered, but the way he is putting this across makes people think that the Parish would do something like that without due consideration. It is nothing but scaremongering.
I get the feeling that the Tory City councillors do not like the fact that the Parish council, which is apolitical, is able to provide another layer of scrutiny and to some extent, protection from the City Council. If they really had the “simple” concerns they raised in the media, why not raise it with the Parish council directly? We must remember that Quedgeley Parish Council is the only Parish council left in the City, maybe they are starting a more sinister campaign to remove it!
Lets see what the next contributor has to say!