The murmurings of Barry Kirby

My life, opinions, thoughts and actions

6 August, 2012 10:12

Goodbye and Hello

No, not Physically, but I am moving this blog to another host.

Everything from the past 6 months or so has been copied over to the new blog, and that will take some sorting out so please bear with me.

But in the interim, please update your link to this blog to http://www.barrykirby.co.uk (can you see what I have done there🙂 )

Anyway, see  you over in the new place!

No-one is laughing now!

Its not often I like to use the National Labour Party Videos on my blog.  Not that there is anything wrong with them, its just that they are already out there so just a straight copy doesn’t achieve much in my opinion.

However, this video by Ed I think is particularly striking.  His point about the comments about the “Squeezed middle Class” is spot on.  it was easy to hypothesize before the cuts came in, lots of argument about what the effect would be.  However we now see, frighteningly, what the effect really is.

http://vimeo.com/22552966

I keep going on about it, but the Growth figures are particularly scary.  Without growth, we will have had these painful cuts and nothing to show for them.  The Osborne gamble is not working and we are suffering.  The Green Bin Charges by Gloucester City Council have proven that they can not be trusted with providing services that benefit the City as a whole.  Instead its Cut after Cut, to suit their Tory/Lib Dem mandates in Westminster, in the belief that we will forget it come the next General Election.

One thing is for sure, the way they are going, they are making it very hard to forget indeed!  It’s not funny, and I don’t see anyone laughing!

Poor take up of Green Bin Service highlights poor planning by Gloucester City Council

Gloucester City Council are parading that they have “smashed” their target for people signing up for the Green Bin service.  Well if you set a really low take up target, then it’s not too difficult to do it, especially when people feel they “have” to pay for it!

Environment Councillor, Steve Morgan, set a target of takeup of just 9400 households, which when you consider that in 2001 there was 45675 homes in Gloucester then that is just over a 5th of the houses in Gloucester.

The actual take up of 11,357 is not even quarter of households within the city.  However this take up will have generated £408,852, which is a substantial sum, especially considering that the service for the whole city was just £120k.  That means they have generated enough income to provide the service for the whole city 3 times over.  Yet it will only provide for 11k houses.

Is this solution value for money?  Where did they calculate that it costs £400,ooo to provide a service to a few houses that originally costed £120k for the entire city?  What also gets me is the lie that it used to be a free service.  This is just not true, it was a service that was paid for by our tax money, be it through Council Tax or from Central Government.

So, where is the extra money going?  How about to contribute to the Library service, or to fixing the pot holes, or perhaps saving some of the jobs that are being cut?  In this current climate, Central Government has said that we need to cut over 4 years, not do everything as soon as possible.  The City Council is there to provide value for money services to us the tax payer, not front load all cuts to try to get the pain done and out-of-the-way before the next election.  While that makes political sence for the Tories and Lib Dems, it only works if the measures are making growth.  And the big thing we are lacking now is Growth.

Lets not forget that this Tory led council has been in the driving seat for this since 2004 and they have constantly complained about the money they received from Central Government, always putting pressure on for more, so it does beg the question about how much they need to shoulder the blame.

The Tories are tired and are out of ideas. Its time for change!

And so City Elections 2011 really begin

Postal Vote

Image by freefotouk via Flickr

The postal votes started landing on the doorstep today, and therefore the election is into the final sprint.  With less than 3 weeks to go before the big day it is really obvious that the hard work is paying off, but still such a lot to do.

Take the lady today who refused my leaflet saying “don’t worry Barry, you have my vote, save this for someone who needs it”.  And the mother who told me that she had great pleasure in posting a vote for me off this evening.  But by the same token, there was a very long conversation with a non-voter, who though all politicians were the same etc, but after a chat and showing what results I could point to, rather than just talk about, he has said that I have his vote.  With every silver lining there is a cloud, which my wife found out when she went to one house and all she heard from an upstairs window was “don’t even bother”.  You can’t win them all.

What was really great today though was having new people helping us get our leaflets out.  Folks who are not particularly political but can see what we are doing and believe in why we are doing it and are willing to do more than just put their ‘x’ in the right place, but are willing to come and convince others to do it as well.

So thank you to you guys for your hard work, I just hope I can deliver for you!