Cllr Karen Chilvers

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The poor politician’s “hardworking officer” smokescreen

by Cllr Karen Chilvers on 23 March, 2017

The very poor Conservative administration are lovely – because they are always at pains to tell you how hardworking officers are and to gush their thanks.

I am not doubting that.  In most cases I have found officers of the council to be hardworking and conscientious, as you would – and should – expect.  The officers that are left at the council are particularly hardworking, sat amongst empty desks that used to contain their colleagues.

But, there’s a reason that Cllr Louise McKinlay starts a presentation by reminding everyone how hardworking they are.  Simply, to deflect the attention away from the lack of vision and direction that is being given to them.  Because, if you start with this phrase, then it feels like any criticism is aimed at the officers rather than the administration.  Sometimes it’s even accompanied by gasps of horror at the audacity you have to challenge these things, given how hard the officers have worked.

Take the latest town centre plan, such as it is.  There are videos, lovely boards and a 140 page document.  There is no vision whatsoever so, yes, I agree the officers have worked doubly hard to try and spare the Conservative’s blushes.  They should be commended for working with so little substance.

It rather reminds me of one of my favourite children’s stories…



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