Council Non-Achievements

January 31, 2011 3:20 PM

You can tell election time is looming in Bath from the amount of councillors posing for photographs in the local newspaper against so-called achievements. But what are some of these ‘victories’ for the taxpayer?

Some time ago I reported that the council had implemented a small but essential change to the traffic system in Bath to alleviate traffic jams along the London Road. They had moved a bus stop a little way along from a busy junction. But my thrill at this display of common sense was premature. It now appears this was merely a temporary measure and it has returned to its original position. In the meantime, however, our fearless councillors claimed that, under pressure from a few elderly residents, they reversed the decision. As one witty local observer commented after they received substantial coverage for ‘campaigning’ to move the bus stop—‘the only thing these councillors had to do was nothing; simply wait before pronouncing their campaign successful.’

Similarly, two councillors can be seen posing determinedly outside a restaurant opposite the Roman Baths. ‘Work has started on a new family-friendly café and restaurant for the Roman Baths,’ says the Bath Chronicle. But excuse me, wasn’t this already a busy restaurant called ‘Binks’ crowded with relaxed families sitting inside and outside?

Now I know it didn’t get rave reviews for its food, but in these days of cuts and redundancies, should the council really be spending money out of council reserves on compensating the current lease-holder for his £500,000 lease and covering his legal fees? In addition to that, the council will close the restaurant for a year (thus losing rental income for council taxpayers), and then spend tens of thousands of taxpayers’ pounds fitting it out and turning it into what?  ‘Somewhere relaxed and casual where families can go,’ says an heroic councillor. Which it already had been for the last 20 years! And by the way, since when it did it fall within the job-description of councillors to become restaurateurs? Beats me, but at least it gets them yet more press coverage at our expense.

Tim Newark, Bath & South West TaxPayers’ AllianceYou can tell election time is looming in Bath from the amount of councillors posing for photographs in the local newspaper against so-called achievements. But what are some of these ‘victories’ for the taxpayer?

Some time ago I reported that the council had implemented a small but essential change to the traffic system in Bath to alleviate traffic jams along the London Road. They had moved a bus stop a little way along from a busy junction. But my thrill at this display of common sense was premature. It now appears this was merely a temporary measure and it has returned to its original position. In the meantime, however, our fearless councillors claimed that, under pressure from a few elderly residents, they reversed the decision. As one witty local observer commented after they received substantial coverage for ‘campaigning’ to move the bus stop—‘the only thing these councillors had to do was nothing; simply wait before pronouncing their campaign successful.’

Similarly, two councillors can be seen posing determinedly outside a restaurant opposite the Roman Baths. ‘Work has started on a new family-friendly café and restaurant for the Roman Baths,’ says the Bath Chronicle. But excuse me, wasn’t this already a busy restaurant called ‘Binks’ crowded with relaxed families sitting inside and outside?

Now I know it didn’t get rave reviews for its food, but in these days of cuts and redundancies, should the council really be spending money out of council reserves on compensating the current lease-holder for his £500,000 lease and covering his legal fees? In addition to that, the council will close the restaurant for a year (thus losing rental income for council taxpayers), and then spend tens of thousands of taxpayers’ pounds fitting it out and turning it into what?  ‘Somewhere relaxed and casual where families can go,’ says an heroic councillor. Which it already had been for the last 20 years! And by the way, since when it did it fall within the job-description of councillors to become restaurateurs? Beats me, but at least it gets them yet more press coverage at our expense.

Tim Newark, Bath & South West TaxPayers’ Alliance

Latest Blogs:

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Working for the taxman

6:00 AM 26, Nov 2016 Harry Fairhead

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Further thoughts on the Autumn Statement

4:56 PM 24, Nov 2016 James Price

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Have we had too much austerity?

10:57 AM 23, Nov 2016 Alex Wild

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Launch a War on Waste and simplify taxes

9:45 AM 23, Nov 2016 The TaxPayers' Alliance

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Reforming capital taxes

6:00 AM 19, Nov 2016 Harry Fairhead