Tuesday, 25 October 2011
The Tri Borough. Stormy waters ahead according to Financial Times
The Dame is concerned about the railroading of the Tri Borough arrangement presented to K&C councillors-and thus residents/taxpayers as a 'fait accompli'. If a public company it would have been put to shareholders. The implications for residents- if it goes wrong- (and the portents are not encouraging) are serious in the extreme. Time for residents to react, to question and remember that K&C have just burnt nearly a million of your money on Chelsea Care.
left: London guru Travers...casting grave doubts
This is what the FT had to say....
Top Local Governance expert at the LSE, Professor Tony Traver
has issued a bleak warning of the political risks associated with the Myers/Cockell plan to get into bed with hard man leader of Hammersmith & Fulham, Stephen Greenhalgh. Speaking to Bob Sherwood of the Financial Times he instanced a frightening scenario whereby H&F is regained by Labour: not an unlikely scenario considering it was Labour for two decades. Travers said such a shift of power might not make the Tri Borough plan inoperable but there are more immediate potential problems ahead. One was the vast cultural gap between the councillors of the two Boroughs. Defining the difference Travers pointed out that K&C councillors have "always been very different creatures" to those of H&F and Westminster, who were seen as "more mainstream businesslike boroughs aggressive in pursuing a low council tax policy". Clearly under Cockell the thrust was to fritter as much money as possible on schemes such as the £27 million Exhibition Rd; millions on Holland Park Opera and the many other examples of ego projects such as Holland Park School.
He went on to say that a Chief Executive "will have to be sensitive to the different approaches in different Boroughs". Reading between the lines Travers seems to be hinting at the fact that councillors at K&C, the Leader and Cabinet, get paid substantially more than their less grand colleagues in H&F! Mind you, the Dame understands that Greenhalgh has been invited for spins in the £115k Bentley as Mr Myers would say, 'to save taxi fares'
On a more serious note the Professor cautions that K&C councillors will need to be aware of the impact that stretched services will have on their electoral success. Pooled services will inevitably lead to a degrading of services.
Professor Travers ended by warning that would be trouble ahead if councillors perceived that they were not getting services tailored to their areas.