Ward Working

Our budget session on Monday was as expected mostly an announcements of efficiencies and reduced services, so it was a pleasant surprise to hear that Ward Working funds would be doubled to £40,000 per ward.  This scheme is very popular with councillors as it enables them to work with residents to make small improvements in the wards. So it was with some surprise that the Lib Dem budget proposals suggested scrapping the scheme entirely. Clearly the group had changed their minds or had forgotten this positive reference in their 2006 election manifesto, when the scheme was known as Neighbourhood Working :

"We have successfully rolled out the Neighbourhood Working scheme, supporting 155 local projects for residents. Our scheme has allowed local councillors to invest £1.5 million in a wide range of local projects such as CCTV, sports and leisure provision for local youth groups, redevelopment of library gardens, personal alarms for vulnerable residents and creative writing courses."

Blast from the past

Always enjoyed using pithy quotes when writing essays. Found these from my past and recognise some relevance to being a councillor and attempting change.

There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, that to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all who profit by the old order. This luke-warmness arises partly from fear of their adversaries, who have law in their favour, and partly from the incredulity of mankind who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it. (Machiavelli)

We trained very hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form into teams, we would be reorganised. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet every new situation by reorganising; and a wonderful method it is for creating illusions of progress, whilst producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralisation. (Caius Petronius, AD66)