Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Local Tories’ Report of Contradictions

The leader of the Conservative opposition here in Sutton, Paul Scully, has published a report on his blog presenting his analysis of the state of the council in Sutton and presenting the Tories’ proposals to fix the ills he has identified. I found it interesting reading and I offer up my initial observations on the report.

 Lacking specifics

Despite its great length the report doesn’t actually reveal anything. It uses an awful lot of words to say not very much at all.

 The majority of the report is taken up with explanations of what the various departments within the council do, echoing summaries in countless local authority documents for internal & external circulation. The perceived failings of the council are highlighted and Scully points out what he thinks needs to be done about them. What is missing are detailed plans of how these ‘improvements’ can be achieved. Sweeping statements are made about what the Tories would do differently (or in some cases not so much differently as ‘re-presented’) but there is no how; there are no costings to the proposals; no real evidence that they could make these changes work. Our local Conservative group echoes its wider Party policy: promising things will be better under the Tories but without giving specific examples.

 The basis of this analysis seems to have been Scully’s whistle-stop tour of council departments and our partner organisations as mentioned in one of his previous blog postings. Of course he will have been able to draw on the experience he has gained during his one term as a Sutton councillor, together with that of his colleagues, some more long standing than others.

 Working with the Voluntary Sector

There are a few points within the report that I particularly wanted to pick apart. The report states that more use should be made of voluntary sector organisations. I don’t disagree that we should maximise the expertise and opportunities that the voluntary sector can offer, and I have plenty of examples of ways in which this partnership with the ‘third sector’ has worked to the benefit of Sutton residents. However I don’t believe that the voluntary sector should just be treated as a cheap way of outsourcing services, and if we are to be properly accountable to our residents the council still needs to ensure that the service being provided by voluntary sector organisations is of good quality and sufficient to meet the needs of our residents. The voluntary sector needs to be nurtured and supported, and not seen as a way to offload our responsibilities at low cost.

 The difference between Conservative policy and practice

However, pertinent in a different way is the example used within the section on youth provision to illustrate how the council could be better at utilising the voluntary sector. Elevate, a Christian voluntary organisation that organises skate events for young people, is mentioned. Now the council and myself have already had dealings with this organisation through the Beddington & Wallington Local Committee, and I have mentioned this in a previous blog posting. During the course of determining whether there was demand for a skatepark on Roundshaw recreation ground the committee asked Elevate to undertake the consultation work, due to their extensive experience working with young people. However the Conservative councillor for the affected ward, Cllr. Marion Williams, publicly expressed her concerns about the nature of the organisation and whether they would have a vested interest in the consultation results. It was explained to the Committee that it was a Christian voluntary organisation and that whilst they held skate events, these could be held anywhere and they would not gain anything financially from the provision of a skatepark in the Roundshaw area. This still failed to satisfy Ms Williams and I had a number of emails from her questioning the use of this voluntary organisation. Interesting that the report cites this organisation as one which could be better utilised by the council when one of the Conservative members seemed determined to put obstacles in the way of such thinking.

 New proposals?

Another issue raised by Cllr. Scully in his report is the need to encourage residents to take up benefits they are entitled to. He states that the council is poor at doing this. Yet only recently I blogged about how successful three voluntary sector partners have been working together to increase the take up of benefits by carers. Two of these organisations are supported by council funding and so it is a good example of how the council is effectively using the voluntary sector, and how the practice of bringing organisations together through the Sutton Partnership facilities these type of arrangements. As well as this service for carers the council has actively been encouraging the take up of benefits and allowances in its recession survival plan.

 Under the section on crime the report discusses at length the principles behind the ‘broken window’ theory and designing out crime and concludes that this is the way forward for the council to reduce fear of crime as if this is a new innovation. Surely Cllr. Scully must be aware that this has been the backbone to the council’s environmental policy for many years now. The whole principle behind the regular street cleaning policy; the efficient collection of waste; the tree maintenance policy; the graffiti clean up drive; the weeding of pavements; the maintenance and cutting of grass verges and hedges; the maintenance of our parks and the prosecution of fly-tippers are all about keeping our streets looking cared-for and pleasant, preventing areas from becoming run down and prone to vandalism and attracting anti-social behaviour. It is not a policy that is inexpensive, but one that we understand our residents want and have now come to expect. I cannot believe that Cllr. Scully has failed to realise this, surely he does not think that readers of his report will not see this too? To give him the benefit of the doubt I will assume that this report indicates a commitment to continue with and support these policies.

 Involving residents

Next we move on to engagement with residents. The report accepts that we aim to be a consultative council, but states that we are not very good at it, making the sweeping claim that the Tories could do it so much better. The budget consultation is repeatedly cited as an example of poor results. I do not disagree that the budget consultation regularly gets a low response rate, but frankly this is unsurprising. Not many residents are that keen to get into the nitty gritty of financial policy and resource allocation no matter how nicely presented in a council leaflet. It is hard to squeeze all the difficult plans and decisions into a few neat soundbites that residents can express their views on. And whilst residents have strong views about the level of service they expect from their local authority, most are too busy going about their everyday lives to pull out a pencil and start disseminating the council’s spending plans for the next year. As an inclusive administration we want to ensure that people have the opportunity to comment if they wish, and to be open and honest about what our spending plans are and how those decisions were reached, however it would be unrealistic to expect a large number of residents to give the consultation anything more than a quick look. If there is anything residents are unhappy about we are confident that they will let the council know about it whether through formal consultation or other means. Yes we might increase the response rate marginally if we approached residents directly, but there is a cost attached to this that may not result in increased value in the responses. We are not about to go down the route of requiring residents to complete consultation forms, instead we must trust in the capacity of our residents to make their own decision about responding to requests to supply their views. Of course if we reduced the budget consultation to a question of whether residents would like to see a reduction in their council tax then of course there might be a bigger response, and I can tell you the results of that survey without printing a single form: ‘Yes I would like to pay less tax and still maintain the same level of services I receive.’ Who doesn’t want to pay less tax? But I’m not sure we would learn anything useful from such an exercise.

 Policy into practice – who does it better?

However if we move away from the sole example of the budget consultation and look at involvement with residents on a more direct level we should use the example of the Local Committees. It was the idea of the sitting Liberal Democrat administration to try to move away from the formal Area Committees to a format that allowed more involvement & engagement with local residents. We wanted residents to be more closely involved in making decisions about their area. We also gave each new Local Committee a budget to give them the power to actually make a difference to their physical environment. The areas represented by a committee were broken down to be more representative of their area and this also meant that some of the local committees were able to be chaired by Conservative councillors. This is where the Tories’ claims that they could do it all better falls down. The evidence and informal feedback from these Local Committees is that those committees chaired by Conservative members remain formal and bureaucratic in tone, and have moved the least away from the original area committee format, whilst those chaired by Liberal Democrat members have grown, developed and experimented with different ways of engaging with residents and have been successful in encouraging more residents to get involved in making decisions about their area.

 The report also criticises the council for being bureaucratic, yet evidence from council meetings & committees shows that it is the Tories who have the lust for bureaucracy, and who regularly ask for more procedure, process and formality. I have highlighted a number of such instances in my previous blog postings.

 Honesty about the cuts?

There are two items in the Tory report which do cause me concern. In the section looking at delivery of social services it states that the Conservative want to reduce residents’ dependency on the state. This is in the context of personalisation of social care and could be referring to a change of attitude. If so it is an ideology I would agree with. The Liberal Democrats believe that people should be trusted to be responsible for their own wellbeing, but the state should be there to support those who are vulnerable and unable to support themselves through no fault of their own. It is the basis of promoting an equal society – everyone should have an equal opportunity to participate in society. The empowering side of this is that people need to take responsibility for their own actions and so the welfare system should not encourage dependency, whether through institutionalised social services provision or a system of taxation that takes away the financial incentive to be self supporting. Where I begin to wonder whether it is this ideology the Conservatives are considering is when I see under later sections of the report the Tories make a promise to freeze council tax. The report fails to set out how exactly this will be managed through manipulation of budgets. Yes the report talks in vague terms about outsourcing more and greater use of the voluntary sector, but if they plan to maintain or indeed improve public services these measures will nowhere near cover the gap in the council’s finances. Sure they might be able to dip into the council’s reserves, but this will only cover them for a year or two, and once they are gone how will they continue to finance that level of service? What if an unexpected event occurs and they need to turn to reserves to deal with it? Both the recession and the swine flu pandemic were unexpected occurrences.

The Conservative group believe that they can make great efficiency savings because this council is “wasteful”. It would be a great surprise if the Tories, during their years in opposition, have managed to find a bulging surplus of funds that the Liberal Democrat administration, council officers and the audit commissioners had failed to identify, especially in this time of recession and funding cuts where the drive to find efficiency savings has been relentless.

 And if they had discovered this ‘pot of gold’  surely it would be in the best interests of residents to know about it now, so that it can be used more effectively to their benefit, rather than hanging on to that knowledge like a raft until they get their opportunity to use it to finance their manifesto promises?

 And so where will they find the additional funds to enable them to freeze council tax? This is where I turn back to Social services and the statement that they will reduce dependency on the state. What exactly do they mean by this? Could it mean raising the criteria for access to social services?

The Usual Suspects

I couldn’t wait to reach the end of the report (no really) as I wanted to see what solutions were being proposed to put right everything that it says is wrong with this council. Sadly it failed to deliver. The summary of the ills of the council came down to the usual refrain: Life Skills Centre bad; green garden waste scheme failure; poor response to budget consultation; tired leadership. I am surprised they didn’t throw in the bus shelter as well. One of the criticisms levelled at the Liberal Democrat leadership was that it was complacent, resting on the laurels of its four star rating. Well whilst I have heard gratitude expressed for the accolades, I have yet to hear a Lib Dem member declare themselves entirely satisfied with the workings of the council. Always there is the constant striving for improvements and efficiencies; new ways of looking at old problems. I have already mentioned the Local Committees as an example of implementing new ways of working. Also in this term the scrutiny committees were reviewed and reworked with the aim of making them more robust and useful. Policies are regularly reviewed and the Liberal Democrat group was well replenished at the last election with an influx of new members with fresh eyes and different experiences to bring to the table. I can’t see how the Liberal Democrats can possibly be described as tired, and nor do I see how the Tories can expect the public to trust them to do things better, with so little evidence or example to go on.

 Conservatism as Liberalism? The true contradiction

I will flatter Cllr. Scully a little now by describing him and his Conservative group in Sutton very much like a mini-me version of David Cameron and the National Tory party. Like Cameron, Scully knows that the public want to see a softer, more liberal Conservative party. Indeed Cameron himself said, in a magazine interview, that the country needs a liberal democracy, (not to mention Eric Pickles’ call for Lib Dems to “come home” to the Conservatives) and he has taken many of the traditional Liberal Democrat policies and adopted them as Conservative ideology: protecting the environment; localism; supporting the NHS; human rights. Yet both Cameron & Scully appear strangely disassociated from the rest of their party: a figurehead and mouthpiece but not representative of the Party collective. The public are still sceptical of the promises made and the turning over of new leaves. No one really believes that the grass root membership are fully behind their leaders, and worry that should they actually get into power either the mask will slip or the backbenchers will rise up to reaffirm the old order.

 Here in Sutton I have mentioned before that there are open climate change deniers amongst the Conservative members; as I have touched on above, claims of democratic principles and ripping through bureaucracy are a far cry from the reality of opposition members’ activities, so no matter what claims are made for a changed Conservative party in this published document, I see no substance in this report. This report may say many of the right things, but I am not sure that the local party representatives are fully committed to all of the pronouncements it makes, nor am I any the wiser as to how they will fund the changes they propose.

Advertisements

September 25, 2009 - Posted by | Opinion

16 Comments »

  1. Jayne

    First of all well done for taking the time to read the report.
    As you are aware it is not the Conservative manifesto but a body of evidence and work based on groups that we have held over the last 3 years.
    It is interesting that you have failed to comment on the education section of the report.
    Is there any reason for this?

    Comment by tim crowley | September 26, 2009 | Reply

  2. Yes there is a reason. I read with most interest those areas that I have had most involvement with – health & social services, the voluntary sector and community engagement. I have had little involvement with education and so didn’t presume to comment on that section.

    Comment by jaynemccoy | September 26, 2009 | Reply

  3. It is telling that Sutton’s Liberal Democrats are silent on education – I can only surmise this is because they have an ideological opposition to the grammar schools selective system.

    The Tories’ report (which is highly impressive and informative by the way) makes it clear that the Lib Dems in Sutton have a well evidenced opposition to the system but are happy to bask in its reflective glory when it suits.

    It makes for damning reading.

    Comment by simon griffin | September 28, 2009 | Reply

  4. Jayne
    Thanks for reading the report and sharing your thoughts. The State of Sutton was meant to spark debate and so your contribution is really welcome. Although there are summaries of what the council does in several publications, they are all too often hard to find and filled with acronyms and council jargon. This report was aimed at several different groups of readers, each with different levels of knowledge about local government.

    I am surprised that you found any proposals on what the Conservatives would do differently, because this was quite deliberately not the aim of the document. Politicians are prone to tackling issues that they perceive to be a concern without scratching beneath the surface to see if it is as they first thought. This is symptomatic of politicians trying to look busy in order to justify their existence. Instead this was supposed to test our preconceptions of the council, good and bad, to go back and test whether the evidence stacked up to take the positions that we had. It is a “question zero”; taking one step back to look at the wider position before taking a leap forward.

    Working with the Voluntary Sector

    The report certainly criticised parts of the service that the council provides and the lack of political leadership underpinning the shortfall in delivering what residents might expect, but it also covered many of the excellent examples that exists within the local authority. There are some really good cases cited where the council and the voluntary sector work well together. We don’t simply look at the third sector as cheap labour. However, neither do we look upon them as having to be tied down to the same bureaucracy as the council, which is what is happening in some cases at present (see youth provision).

    The difference between Conservative policy and practice
    On a couple of occasions within your discourse, you attempt to drive a wedge between me and my colleagues. Firstly we do not agree on everything, hence a number of times that we have had a free vote in council. This contrasts to the LibDems who are made up of a group of people with disparate views, some flying under a political flag of convenience; all of whom offer themselves as lobby fodder; some of whom subsequently complain afterwards to members of both parties.

    New proposals?

    I am aware of the three groups that you have blogged on about helping people with their benefits. Sutton Carers Centre was an exampled that we cited and I have visited the Citizens’ Advice Bureau where we discussed their joint working. Again, this is an excellent example that we should learn from and see where else we can apply this rather than spend too much time slapping our collective backs. The underlying principle of the lack of political leadership applies here. Was this specifically a project that the LibDems instigated or would it have happened anyway under the stewardship of those organisations and council officers?
    Jayne, you can be sure that we are committed to continue with keeping our streets and parks clean. Broken Windows theory runs deeper than this, with regeneration of secondary business areas at its heart as well as instilling a real sense of pride in residents rather than assuming that an annual festival with pride in the title does the trick. Encouraging residents to want to share responsibility for their neighbourhood is vital.

    Involving residents

    I’m not sure that I need to spend much time on this. Summarily dismissing the previous communications team to bring in a new organisation to sell an unpopular green garden waste collection scheme says all that residents would want to know about how the LibDems approach communication with residents. Proper consultation at a sensible point in the process would have avoided the loss of a lot of goodwill and some £800,000 of taxpayers’ money in performing a U-turn. It is interesting to compare the output of the communications team in advertising as directed by the LibDems rather than their input in terms of research of residents’ views.

    Policy into practice – who does it better?

    We do of course:)
    The impetus behind the change to Local Committees was threefold.
    1. The removal of planning from these meetings which was the original reason for establishing the Area Committees some 12 years ago.
    2. The need to improve the percentage of residents who thought that they could influence council decision-making, a measure which stubbornly refuses to rise.
    3. Public Realm money which was delegated to Local Committees, providing a similar facility to other authorities who had given funding to ward councillors following the DCLG’s White Paper, Strong and Prosperous Communities (2006).

    More than seventy people attended the last Carshalton Local Committee following effective advertising of the event. However you look at it, surely it is better to have a large number of people in an open discussion rather than a few people in another setting. Localism is a matter of trusting each area to find out what works for them.

    Honesty about the cuts?

    We seem to agree on personalisation of services. Deeper analysis seems to make 2 and 2 equal 5. We have not suggested radical cuts in adult social services. There are plenty of things that we can be doing differently to trim costs. Apart from the elephant in the room (or Alcorn Close) that is the controversial £8m Sutton Life Centre which would not have been built under a Conservative administration, there are fundamental skills that the Council simply does not have. We are not good on the whole at contracting out services although, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Adult Social Services is the exception. They are leading the way in creating as well as developing markets for commissioning services.

    The Usual Suspects

    Thank you for reminding me of the £600,000 bus shelter. I should throw in the £25,000 totem poles for good measure at this point. Scrutiny changes were a good idea in theory, but not implemented well. The one fundamental weakness of a member-led system is that you need competent members to lead and engage in it. The approach of the Chairmen on most of the committees means that there is little meaningful debate, instead replacing long officers’ reports of old with long diatribes from Chairmen. A significant number of councillors have not researched the subjects up for discussion; leading to questions asked that could have been answered within the papers. Similarly, the reports at the end of the investigation are compiled and hurried through without due consideration to the view of the committee. More pre-decision scrutiny would make better use of the committees and produce better policy.

    Conservatism as Liberalism? The true contradiction

    Thanks for the flattery. I have less hair than David Cameron and no-one would mistake me for an ex-Etonian. I have a great team alongside me, many of whom contributed to the State of Sutton report. They will be prepared to make the tough decisions that undoubtedly lie ahead and will seek to represent all 190,000 people in the Borough, reflecting their views as best as they can. The way that you spit out the term climate change denier belies your inherent prejudice to anything that hasn’t been ratified by the LibDem administration, resorting to pejorative language. You just need to calm down a little, curl up with the chapters of the report that you haven’t read. We’ll show you our costed proposals for solving the contradictions of the Borough soon enough.

    Finishing on a positive note, thank you again for taking the time to read it and thank you for sharing your thoughts. Our views are there to be tested which in turn, will strengthen our proposals.

    Comment by Paul Scully | September 30, 2009 | Reply

    • So the public are to be kept in the dark still longer about your policies and plans for Sutton! Exactly when will you be letting the public know what the Conservatives stand for?

      I look forward to your fully costed budget supporting your yet-to-be-revealed proposals. After six terms in opposition without producing a single budget you must forgive my scepticism.

      I am glad you mentioned the totem poles as it is a good example of the Tory propaganda you persist in misusing my blog to propagate. This project was funded by a Merton organisation spending its landfill tax credit on community projects. Local residents made suggestions for how this money should be spent and the totem poles were the result. When you give decision making powers to local people you cannot then damn the result because you don’t like it.

      Comment by jaynemccoy | October 1, 2009 | Reply

  5. Don’t worry Jayne. Residents will have plenty of time to compare our policies and lots of opportunity to debate them.

    The totem pole issue may be a gift that keeps on giving but it isn’t propaganda. To understand why, you need to delve further into how landfill tax credits work. Viridor throws a load of rubbish into a hole in the ground in Beddington. They are allowed to put money into a fund for community use instead of giving it in tax to the Treasury. They can do this for 90% of their liability. Groundworks Merton, the organisation that you refer to then spends the money.

    So the money is tax that the Treasury has delegated to a charity to collect and distribute. As a tax that is being spent locally, residents and councillors should have a view. You say that residents made their views known. I assume that this claim came from the same drawer as the tens of thousands of people who requested the controversial £8.5m Sutton Life Centre. We asked every single household within a square mile of the totem poles. Not a single one said that they had requested totem poles. As I have said before, ‘community engagement’ in Sutton has become little more than a council piece of jargon. If you are going to consult, get your hands dirty and get out there and ask people what they really think. Difficult I know and one that I don’t always get right myself. But it is worth trying.

    Comment by Paul Scully | October 1, 2009 | Reply

    • Are you saying that the charity did not consult with local people on how it should spend the money?
      Has Groundworks Merton broken regulations about the way it is required to distribute the landfill tax credit?
      Thanks for clarifying that the totem poles were purchased by Groundworks Merton and NOT Sutton Council.

      Comment by jaynemccoy | October 2, 2009 | Reply

  6. No problem for the clarification. If you have a look here you’ll see that this is exactly what I said on 25th June 2007.

    From memory there was a workshop where people put stickers on a map with what they wanted. I have no idea who went, but it is clear that residents didn’t ask for totem poles. It all comes back to two things. Firstly ticking a box to say that you have engaged with the community rather than actually seeking opinion and responding to it. Secondly the council claims that it seeks value for money. How can £25,000 of taxpayers’ money spent on totem poles be value for money, least of all when they are facing the hospital that you have been claiming was going to be closing due to lack of funds.

    Comment by Paul Scully | October 2, 2009 | Reply

    • So if your concern is about the spending of taxpayers’ money by Groundworks Merton, and their consultation process, why are you bringing up the issue of the totem poles in the context of your report on Sutton Council?

      Comment by jaynemccoy | October 2, 2009 | Reply

  7. Sutton Council facilitated the erection of the totem poles. The Council puts much stall in partnership working with organisations such as Groundworks Merton. It is spineless for politicians to pass on the blame to them when taxpayers’ money is spent on a politically controversial project and then seek to take credit when a partner does something creditable.

    Sutton Carers Centre do some fantastic work as we have both cited but they still pay the first £60,000 that they raise each year on rent. We need to reflect on our priorities in the context of the entirety of our responsibility rather than seeking to bask in reflected glory from those who toil.

    Councillors are community leaders and councils are measured as ‘place shapers’. This means that we should seek to ensure that all public money is spent as wisely as possible in the borough. Liberal Democrat ward councillors may have been able to encourage the money to have been spent better in one of the most deprived wards in London. Liberal Democrat councillors sitting on the Development Control committee certainly could have refused planning permission. Executive members should have been encouraging Groundworks Merton to concentrate on more relevant projects. If not, it begs the question that I asked at the beginning of the thread; where is the political leadership in the Borough?

    Comment by Paul Scully | October 2, 2009 | Reply

    • You have now changed the thrust of your argument. You used the totem poles to supposedly illustrate poor consultation, implying the council was involved. As we have clarified that the council was not the body responsible for the consultation you have now shifted emphasis to claiming the problem was the council not ‘encouraging’ better spending by the charity. All criticisms have originated from you not me and I note your failure to answer my earlier questions about Groundworks Merton.

      You have stated that the council should make better use of voluntary sector organisations and reduce the bureaucracy they face, and yet you now say that councillors should have stepped in and overruled the independence of this Treasury appointed charity, and voted against the wishes of the residents consulted, simply because you dislike the project.

      Is this the democracy you are planning for Sutton?

      Comment by jaynemccoy | October 5, 2009 | Reply

      • I’m not sure you understand the point that Paul is trying to make, Jayne. For some time now I have thought that there needs to be more political leadership from Sutton council, I don’t see any leadership on basic issues like council tax and crime.

        The totem poles are a laughing stock, and have not done the credibility of the council any good. Council leaders should have had the backbone and the foresight to have realised this. Regardless of where the money came from it is clear that the poles do not represent anything like value for money and forms another prime example of Sutton councillors needing to look busy.

        Frankly I think it is time for a change and I would like more emphasis on value for money.

        Having read your report I am impressed with the depth of research and analysis. Your narrative in council tax and the pitiful effects of consultation with us, the residents, really hits home.

        Comment by martina weir | October 7, 2009

      • Despite the nickname the totem poles are public art. What is ‘Art’ has always caused controversy and it is a matter of opinion whether ‘Art’ is a worthwhile investment or not. Where I disagree with you and Paul is that I don’t interpret political leadership as the imposition of my opinion over everyone else’s.

        Comment by jaynemccoy | October 8, 2009

  8. Jayne

    The old area committee approved the master plan which included the totem poles. Whilst I welcome the rest of the projects, this was a step too far. The landfill tax credit scheme was designed to create significant environmental benefits and jobs and to undertake projects which improve the lives of communities living near landfill sites. Although Groundworks Merton have broken no laws, I cannot see that totem poles adheres to the spirit of the scheme.

    The council was not the body responsible for carrying out the consultation but it is the body responsible for ensuring that public money is spent for the good of Sutton residents. I am not aware that the Liberal Council has asked for a spending report showing money spent by government agencies in the borough as they are able to do under the Sustainable Communities Act. It’s not enough to hide behind non-accountable government agencies. Groundworks Merton may be a registered charity but in this instance they are acting as an agent of the Treasury. We’re back to political leadership. You’ve offered no evidence that ‘everyone else’ wanted totem poles whereas the 1500 homes or so within a square mile who have not had a say, speak volumes.

    Comment by Paul Scully | October 9, 2009 | Reply

  9. Cllr McCoy, thank you for your response to my comment. I, for one, would prefer my local council to focus its time and efforts and my money on improved typical council services like my highways and rubbish collections.

    Why is Sutton placing priority on these kinds of things with my money? I recall seeing the Sutton’s Life Center on tv earlier this year and that its costing over eight million pounds. I looked into the issue and it seems that a youth club was flattened to make way for it and that a traditional library is facing a similar fate.

    You are a councillor who is elected to represent our financial interests rather than to find ever more elaborate ways to spend our money. Please stop.

    Comment by martina weir | October 11, 2009 | Reply

    • This comment contains so much misunderstanding, misstatement and misdirection that it really belongs on a Tory blogsite. I simply refer you to previous postings about the Life Centre.

      Comment by jaynemccoy | October 12, 2009 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: