31/08/2010 Leave a comment
Just has our copy of the excellent Parish Magazine the Lakenheath Times, drop on my mat and once again they were kind enough to print my ramblings so I thought I would blog it and inflict it on you as well:
‘Hello and welcome to my occasional column in this great village Magazine, as ever I am going to tell you a bit of what I am up to on your behalf at the County Council and to give you a flavour of what the Council is doing with your hard earned Council Tax.
The new Coalition government has been in place now for 3 months and as Parliament rises for the Summer recess, it’s a good time to reflect on what I think everyone can agree has been a busy time, in local government terms I think I have seen more change in these 3 months than in the entire time since I was elected to the County Council 4 years ago.
Beyond the national policy agenda, this is the biggest shake up of government since, well possibly since the 1920’s, even Margret Thatcher and the incoming Conservative Government of 1979 did not propose the shrinking of the state and cuts of the magnitude we are seeing being imposed almost day by day.
Of course it’s comforting to watch the six O’clock news and see all the announcements and think, well fair enough that doesn’t affect me, but this time it does!
So what to do! Well in Suffolk last September, 9 months before the government changed, we launched our County strategy called the New Strategic Direction. Despite the KEEP CALM and CARRY ON rhetoric of the then government it was clear to those behind the scenes that we as a nation had to do some pretty painful stuff if we were to head off the sort of crisis of confidence that has befallen other European nations.
So the challenge is actually quite simple, how do we absorb the cuts with the minimum impact to those who reply on the services the County Council provide, much of what the County Council does is not universal but targeted at those who need our help the most.
Well we have to make tough decisions and change the nature of how we do things, in coming months I want to use this column to explain our thinking and give practical examples of the way we are changing and how we as a community can minimise the impact on our village.
That’s my commitment to you in the difficult times ahead, to listen, and debate what we should and should not be doing with your hard earned Council tax; to careful weigh up what is important to our community, and what we are able to do with less money.
To this end I am extremely keen to listen to what you think so please do get in touch with me to discuss this or any issue, problem or project on 07545 423 795 or better still email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – You can also read my blog at http://www.askcolinnoble.wordpress.com and post comments on my ramblings.
Thanks for reading.’