Following the previous article today on the Express & Star website which I blogged about here, Peter Francis has replied to the veiled implication by Mike Bird, that the former Head of Programme Management was in some way responsible for the lack of an audit trail in the handing out of EU cash to community groups. The article which so far has only appeared in printed editions of the paper has been scanned by The YamYam here, and a roundup of articles from various sources appears in this YamYam piece. What would we do without our local news aggregator?
I think it’s quite poor that the Express & Star didn’t see fit to publish both sides of the story online; to a casual observer, that would give the impression of bias. Wrongly so, of course.
In essence, Mr. Francis points out that he only did that job for a short time and raised concerns even then. Perhaps it’s time for the ruling group to stop playing blame tennis and actually start addressing the situation. In an environment where we’re just about to suffer Sunday parking charges, Sneyd School is being closed whatever the electorate may want, and with Bryntisilio set to become a hazy memory, haven’t we suffered enough for the arrogance and childishness at the heart of our authority?
Perhaps our new leader could make a start by following through on his mutterings about openness and try to connect with the people whose services he’s having butchered. Launching a transparent inquiry into just what the hell is going on in the civic centre would be a start… The people of Walsall seem to be paying for the abject incompetence of the people who run the council, whilst the leader plays pass-the-parcel with responsibility. Is it any wonder that voter turnout at local elections is so low?
I’m amused that Councillor Ian Shires found last night’s meeting so peaceful. I bet if he’d stayed very still, and concentrated really, really hard, he would have heard the sounds of daggers being drawn…