Friday, 28 May 2010

26 divided by 11 with the square root of another 2 weeks

MATHEMATICS can be such fun…especially in local government. Emptying the leisure centres, burying the bins and opening the dead…or something like that…

The 26 local councils have been performing a sterling service for so many years; doing the work that central Government cannot or will not.

But, let’s be honest 26 is a heck of a lot of councils and a heck of a lot of councillors.

So, many moons ago, when rivers ran deeper and mountains rose higher, there arrived a brain wave to reduce the bureaucracy, cut down the (number of) councillors, and centralise the two dozen plus human resource, IT and other ‘back office’ functions.

The much heralded Review of Public Administration raised the flag of efficiency, and lo it came to pass that proposals were made to…hang on a minute…that really was years ago: several years ago!

In that time the decision makers, the movers and shakers have not made a real decision, have barely moved a bit and have implemented no shake-up.

It is too easy to say that this is a damning indictment of the political classes, so we will say it: it is a damning indictment of the political classes that they cannot come to a decision.

Which, of course, leads to the conclusion that politicians in Northern Ireland cannot make a decision: no great surprise there! However, it is quite remarkable that in this tough financial climate (© David Cameron) no-one has had the vision and the foresight to make up their minds!

Edwin Poots – he that holds the Environment portfolio - has said that on Thursday week there will be a reckoning. We reckon that the blame will be passed round like the proverbial hot potato as councils cry foul, Sinn Féin and the DUP argue about boundaries and DoE officials will be saying that somebody will have to pay…

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