NOTEBOOK by BILL HEANEY
Some people tell me I am too hard on West Dunbartonshire Council. That what I have to say in my column does not reflect the actuality of the situation locally.
Constant complaints from taxpayers on social media tell me however that the number of complaints about council services stack up to one word, inefficiency, and often on a grand scale.
That remark last week from a member of the Council management team in one of his reports to a committee made me smile, but it was no laughing matter.
He told the poor souls (is it any wonder they want to keep everything secret from us?) who have to pay him around £80,000 a year for his advice that he was pleased the council received so many complaints about what they do.
If they didn’t, he said, the council staff would have no experience of how to deal with them.
That’s a joke straight out of 10 Downing Street where Dominic Cummings told his boss he only took his wife on a 25-mile drive to Barnard Castle during lockdown to check that his eyesight was OK to enable him to drive back to London. Eh?
No wonder the country’s in the state it’s in if PM Boris Johnston could find no one better than Cummings to be his top special adviser.
Cummings and Cain brought chaos to Westminster. You know the story.
Ministerial advisers are an enigma. I should know since I used to be one. They are usually only as safe in their jobs as the Minister they are working for.
So, that lot having taken up their filing boxes and walked out the front door gives hope to the rest of us that Boris may yet follow them up to the taxi rank in Whitehall.
I live in hope that we may soon see a reprise of this inglorious episode in microcosm in West Dunbartonshire.
Now that the chaos within the Council offices has spilled out on to Church Street in the form of another management shake-up and a run on golden parachutes has taken place, it would be wonderful to witness Cllr Jonathan McColl, leader of the basket case SNP administration, following them.
Why is this happening, you may well ask, although I believe there are many reasons which have already been extensively talked and written about in this community.
Great Matt cartoon, as usual, in The Daily Telegraph. Hat tip to Donald Fullarton
The exasperation of people who have to deal with local government is reflected in this exchange of posts: “If there is one thing that COVID has highlighted it is the total inefficiency of some of our institutions.
“I arrived home last month – Thursday Oct 15 – to find a letter from Public Health Scotland/ NHS/Lanarkshire Health Board – inviting me for a flu jab. The only problem was the appointment, which was for the day before.
“I called them and got an appointment for the following Monday at 4pm. I asked for a further appointment for Alan [her husband] but they had no slots, it was too busy, although the woman promised me she would call back with one. She didn’t.