There’s been an unfortunate RTA at Walsall Council, and it deserves as wide exposure as possible.
Hot on the heels of 332 job losses and subsequent symbolic handwringing at 19 million pounds worth of cuts for this year alone, it seems the Mayor can’t be expected to arrive in any old jalopy. Despite the shutting down of Aldridge Manor Youth Service to save about £20,000 per annum, and the shuttering of well-loved and respected mental health facility the Broadway Centre to save £100,000, it comes as some surprise that the council can apparently afford £50,000 on a shiny new limousine for the Mayor’s civic duties.
Nice work to the Express & Star for clocking this one.
[Added 8th November, 4:40pm: The Stymaster, late of this parish (first comment below) has submitted a rather interesting Freedom of Information request about this – worth keeping an eye on. It can be viewed here – nice one, Chris!]
It’s gratifying to see Mike ‘Blofeld’ Bird so unselfconsciously defending this ridiculous plan, once again showing his utter talent for piss-poor PR. The communications unit at Walsall and his fellow party members must wince every time he’s approached by a reporter.
Walsall is broke, facing massive and devastating cuts. Nobody except perhaps the more pompous of our Councillors would actually give two hoots what car the Mayor turned up in – and were he seen to use his own vehicle for a normal staff allowance, or even a pool car, it would surely garner respect as the actions of an official saving money for the citizens he represents.
This is a question of tact, sensitivity and good PR. Politicians in Walsall have never been guilty of any of these things.
Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the crash, but Mike Bird’s credibility seems to have been killed stone dead. A remarkable direct hit on a tiny target.
The rumour is circulating that there may be ‘Kippers on the menu. Things are certainly getting mad enough…