Andre Walker, a Local Government Advisor who has worked for five local authorities on groups scheduled for abolition running expensive lobbying campaigns to survive
Sitting at my desk the other day I read an amusing exchange between Lancashire Police Authority and a Conservative MP. Whilst the MP hasn’t taken out a super-injunction against me, I still won’t name him to avoid embarrassment.
Essentially the Police Authority had written a report – funded by the good people of the County Palatine – and was emailing it to anyone they could think of, including every MP in Lancashire. In summary it said that elected Police Commissioners were really bad and the Home Secretary was basically satanic for suggesting it.
Oh what a great shock, Lancashire Police Authority, a body which has a track record of achieving absolutely nothing doesn’t want to see itself abolished. It’s predictable and tragic but I have no objection to them wanting to maintain the status quo, and neither it seems did the MP.
My problem with this report is that it summarises a major problem in Local Government. Discredited bodies earmarked for the axe spending millions mounting campaigns to save their own skin. If Lancashire Police Authority Members and staff want to run a campaign to save themselves they should do it at their own expense. Have they not noticed the country is bankrupt?
I do not understand how public officials can fight highly political campaigns against taxpayers, then present those very same taxpayers with the bill. It reminds me of being offered a job before they election by one such body. The Chief Executive suggested paying me £55k a year because they “wanted a tory to persuade the incoming government of the value of our work”. I told him his work had no value and I didn’t want to be involved.
But I could never put it better than the MP I mentioned earlier, he said: “why are you wasting my money on this rubbish, I’m writing to the Home Secretary to ask that you’re the first Police Authority to be abolished”. Anonymous MP, I salute you!