Friday, December 14, 2007

Partnership? What Partnership?

Not for the first time, I ask - What do the Liberal Democrats get out of the Regressive Partnership coalition in Birmingham with their Tory friends and masters? Answers on a postcard please.

I'm tempted to offer a prize for the best answer.

Apart from a few thousand quid from their cabinet and scrutiny committee posts, the answer would appear to be the square root of sod all.

Back in 2004, the Liberal Democrat manifesto briefing promised that a
Lib Dem vote will promote and expand swimming opportunities within the city
Well, in Yellow-Peril-Infested Yardley, the opening hours at the Fox Hollies Leisure Centre have been slashed by 12 hours a week - including late opening and early closing on Saturdays and complete closure on bank holidays, further restricting access for those 'hard-working families' beloved of all politicians. Other cuts - sorry, cost savings, have seen reduced hours at Stechford Cascades. (I really must refer to my officially approved council thesaurus - sponsored by Tesco - before writing).

That same document also includes the promise
Moseley Road Baths must be kept open with seed funding from the one off funds currently available
And now it seems that despite a fine campaign by Martin Mullaney, the Baths and the magnificent building that encloses them are both doomed as fellow Lib Dem Cabinet Member Ray 'Philistine' Hassall doesn't like older facilities and doesn't see the point of spending money keeping them open. If that's the case, why was a million quid spent on reopening one of the pools? As this article points out, the baths are of national importance - there is no older Grade II* listed pool in the country and many of the original features are believed to be unique. (Yes, I have now said something nice about Martin in two successive posts - call it the Christmas spirit).

There is a feasibility study carried out into the further options for updating the baths, but we aren't allowed to see it. One of the regulars on the Stirrer message board has submitted a FOI request, only to have it turned down because the council apparently intend to publish it. (No, I'm not convinced either).
The City is obsessively secretive and concentrates on keeping information about problems out of the public domain rather than acting to solve problems. This must change.
John Hemming, Liberal Democrat manifesto 2004
Regular readers will remember that John once faced down a Standards Board inquiry over his 'release' of confidential information to the press. Let's see some courage from him and his fellow Lib Dems - put the report into the public domain now.
I won't hold my breath for the answer. They don't have the guts for the job - they're happy with their fatter pay packets and the prestige of nodding whenever Whitless demands it. Every day they sustain this incompetent administration demonstrates just how far from their 'principles' the Liberal Democrats in Birmingham have drifted.


George Calthorpe said...

Mr O'Shea. Just face the truth, nobody wants you nor Labour in Acocks Green. Your obsession about Lib Dems in Yardley has now reached new levels of stupidity.

As an agenda your's is as transparent as they come

George Calthope

PoliticalHack said...

Oh, keep guessing George. One day you might get it right.

Really - my identity isn't all that exciting. I don't know why it exercises you lot so much.