That dog does not hunt…

There’s an American euphemism that says a whole lot about UK local government politics: “that dog does not hunt”… It also says a whole lot about the sort of “suck-up sycophants” you have to surround yourself with as a “strong leader” to survive.  When you need a dog to hunt, the worst thing that can happen is to have a dog looking out and enjoying the landscape. Local government in the UK is in trouble, it is proving itself not fit for purpose, and that is because it can’t get the job done, the dog does not hunt…

So, what doesn’t work? Now the results vary from place to place, but primarily:

  1. costs being passed to the taxpayer go up and up and up, and are never coming down. Local government taxes increase every year and have for the last 20 years I have been here in Surrey Heath, they only ever go up
  2. service goes down by measurable amounts every year. No argument can be made that the Town Centre is anything other than an eyesore. The roads are getting worse by the day, as are most of the things that the public has to put up with
  3. both local and County Councils get more out of touch with both the views of the people and the technology that can be applied to get those view by the day. We have loads of “consultations” where we don’t actually consult with anyone. We couldn’t possibly afford to do that as we might find out what they think, and we might find ways to work that are miles better than what we do now
  4. careers of mediocrity and incompetence are endorsed and promoted by Council personnel, and not just permitted but promoted by these “strong leaders”. Why would you make anyone a CEO who has no earned authority and no experience whatsoever in successfully making any public service work?
  5. any possibility of “fresh blood” is culled from the system before it has any chance of life. The only possible way forward for local government to succeed is to have term limits for its elected representatives. Terms are 4/5 years, two terms and you are out. Anything longer breeds nothing but a bland procession of suck-up sycophants who actually need the job

So, what do we need? Pretty simple really, we need results: actual leaders and a system that can actually listen and actually works. Reward systems for actual performance, and elected representatives that actually represent…

It really is time to start over now…

There is no good way for bad leadership to come to an end, other than just to end.  We awake this morning to yet another disaster in London, this time someone deciding to take it out on Muslim worshippers in Finsbury Park.  Some very bizarrely confused person thinks that you can take justice into your own hands  and somehow “fix” anything. But it is  actually quite a bit worse than that, citizens now feel that they cannot and will not get any justice from the government, so they’re saying quite clearly “we’ve had enough”.

Bizarrely, the Prime Minister used that very phrase just a week ago when she said “enough is enough”.  But the ongoing saga of incompetence has reached a whole set of incredible lows this morning  with so many stories that are all now beginning to blend together into one giant continuous nightmare.  And on top of that, this morning, is the front page interview with the Chancellor talking extensively about how incompetent the prime minister is. What?  One of them needs to go today, this very day…

The difficult thing of course is that it all spirals back to the concept of belief. If you don’t believe in anything then you can’t lead anyone.  If all you believe in is getting elected again, then  you don’t actually believe in anything and the whole thing falls apart.  We have a whole group of people in parliament whose only belief is in getting elected again, it’s not surprising that they are unable to lead anyone.

Could the local torys be more out of touch???

When you look at the abysmal conduct of the torys here in Surrey Heath, you have to ask yourself, could you be any more out of touch than this??? You have to assume that these are living breathing humans who manage to put one foot in front of the other every day, but how could they so coldly  and stupidly do what they are doing?

Rocketing Council Tax

Up over 15% in 5 years, how could you possibly justify that?  What do we get for this? You’re right, nothing… Are the roads, schools, policing, etc. 15% better? Are we getting 15% more value? Is it costing them 15% more to do the same things? You’re right, it isn’t and it doesn’t… Oh, and they want another 15% from us next year. Madness???

Spending £178,000,000 on street lights and then turning them off to save £21,000

Yes, that’s right, a very few short years ago, they asked us to fund the replacement of all the street lights in Surrey because the new ones would be so much more energy efficient. So, we spend a fortune to save money and then we have to save £21K by turning the lights off. A stroke of genius, and the results of this genius?

  1. The elderly are scared crazy because they can hear things outside their homes and can’t see what is going on, they are almost all afraid to go out at night, especially as many of them are very light sleepers…
  2. the disabled and sight impaired are imprisoned because they just can’t do anything due to the fact that they just can’t see anything
  3. shift workers are unable to do all their work, as they can’t see when they are going to and getting off work and effectively can’t work
  4. crime is up, although we are unable to judge empirically this for a year after it happens, but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that you are giving criminals a free hand to do what they like. I am hearing dozens of examples on the campaign trail…
  5. The Council is demonstrating complete contempt for the “little people”

Abysmal state of our roads

No one contests this. But how could that be? A pothole costs £53 to fix and takes 3 minutes to complete. How could it be that these go on and on and on? There is absolutely no excuse for the state of our roads…

Fees at the Rubbish Tips

Here’s another stroke of brilliance on behalf of the Council. So, you tell “white van man” that he can’t go to the tip without paying, and guess how he responds??? Have you been out and about lately? Fly tipping is everywhere, there are now TV shows about it. This wasn’t broken, so the Council “fixed it”…

The sun is rising and the path is straight…

IMG_1213Every once in awhile things become very clear for you. Today is one of those days.  The sun is up, and the path is straight. Whilst out on the campaign trail today, a constituent gave me and shared with me the document masquerading as a manifesto of my opponent. Dozens of people on the doorstep today have told me that they are beginning to realise that the local Tory party is failing miserably. Her plan, by priority is:

1-increase and fix rail services to Waterloo: the possibility of her having any affect on this one way or the other is asymptotically approaching zero.  She would have neither the position or ability to do this, and further the decision has already been made, the service is being currently downgraded, there’s just no demand.

2-excellent schools: her daughter goes to private schools, she doesn’t even know that the main primary school in the Ward had a pass rate in the last results (6 weeks ago) of 41%, with a background of a 61% pass rate nationally. It’s broken, and she doesn’t even know it. But then how would she?

3-roads and pavements: the single biggest road issue in Camberley West is the bus lane on the A30. So where do you stand on this? That’s right, wherever the party tells you to… Why not just tell the people what you are really doing… Nothing…

4-supporting young people: what does that mean? A warmed over meaningless platitude with no commitment whatsoever…

5-supporting the vulnerable: what does that mean? another warmed over meaningless platitude that means nothing…

6-excellent local services: what does that mean? another warmed over meaningless platitude that means nothing…

My opponent’s entire proposal for Camberley West is one thing she couldn’t influence even if she wanted to, one thing she knows nothing about and is failing right under her nose, and 4 things that are meaningless platitudes that mean nothing… And where is my opponent even as this is written? Yes, Australia on holiday, she isn’t even campaigning…

Denis Fuller, the man who got me here

At the start of this campaign, I need to pay tribute to the man who started it all for me: Denis Fuller. I can’t really take too much credit for getting into Politics, Denis is the man that got me here… It all started about 7 or 8 years ago when the Cowboy Clampers came to destroy Frimley. The local Borough Council members didn’t want to get involved, they didn’t care that the elderly and handicapped were having their lives destroyed, but Denis did… He organised the protests, organised the actions, and gave me the encouragement to take it to the conclusion…

The important things he taught me were:

1-take care of your residents first, they are more important than the council or anyone else

2-don’t ever settle for sorry excuses by the council for bad performance and non-performance

3-don’t ever compromise your commitment to your residents for the Conservative Party

In his two terms as County Councillor, he has made a profound difference in a number of areas, he had enormous influence on education, how accounts are handled, and how governance is improved… But mostly he fought relentlessly for the residents…

I’m an Independent today because Denis has given me the encouragement to know that serving your residents is the only thing that matters…