Top 10 terrible Tory councils of the past 10 weeks


3:42 pm - November 17th 2011

by Paul Cotterill    


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There are extra points for hypocrisy-while-being-evil-or-stupid, and extra style points for crass stupidity beyond human reason…. So without further do:

10. Kensington and Chelsea. K&C make it in at number 10 with the news that they’ve misused millions of pounds on consultancy contracts.

They then got a firm of consultants in to tell them how badly they’ve misused the money, then held the meeting about it in secret because it’s not “in the public interest” for people to know how they’ve misused all the money.

This scores good points for large amounts of money wasted, but loses out because wasting money on consultants is not very imaginative stupidity.

9. Mendip District Council. The West Country Tories have been put forward for the list by David Edwards, who feels they should be in there on account of their “general, smug Tory incompetence”. He’s not sure why they’re so smug, and how they manage to be quite so incompetent when they’ve outsourced most of their services anyway.

Normally, generic smug incompetence wouldn’t get you into this list, but we’ve made an exception here because the Mendip Tories did try to get a wizard elected to Council, presumably in the belief that a Tory Council is a bit like Hogwarts, but with less good bin collections.

8. Trafford Borough Council. They’re generally just run-of-the-mill shocking, but news that one of their Tories has been charged with seven counts of benefit fraud.

Now normally this kind of alleged criminality, however hypocritical, wouldn’t get you anywhere near the list, but there’s been special pleading from Matt Finnegan, who points out that Trafford should score higher for making this guy a Party Whip, charged with keeping up standards within his group.

7. Those Shropshire Tories are in at number 7, with an impressively brazen attempt to clamp down on free speech, combined with a high level of condescension to their residents. They score highly for celebrity factor also, having banned Sally Bercow from going into one of the day centres they are planning to close, despite her having been personally invited in there by a user of the centre. They met in the car park instead.

6. Plymouth Tories are in at a very respectable number 6, with their attempt to derecognise trade unions. Good points were awarded for a total lack of understanding about what trade unions do, and slavish adherence to the rightwing line.

5. Southampton Tories, intent on privatising the whole of the Council just months after forcing Council staff to take a massive pay cut.

4. Essex Tories

This all concerns Lord Hanningfield, ex-Council leader and now ex-prisoner, who has declared himself “destitute”, while knowing full well that his erstwhile colleagues are developing plans to make thousands of residents properly destitute by “localising” control of welfare benefits, then slashing both amounts paid and tightening eligibility criteria.

Impressive viciousness combined with the ideological drive to become a Tory flagship for uncaring Conservatism and economic illiteracy.

3. Storming in at number 3 are the famously Thatcherite Tory crew in Wandsworth. They’ve come up with a scheme to throw you out of your home if you can’t get a job if, just for example, there aren’t any jobs.

2. What Wandsworth Tories have done, Barnet’s Tories have done better, and this gets them close to the coveted top spot.

Barnet have come up with a massively creative plan (item 7), under which people under 25 get chucked out of their home if they don’t get a job, BUT ALSO if they do get a decent one, with the limit for eligibility for a council home to be set at a little less household median income for the area (currently at £32,580 per year).

1. Straight in at number 1 is West Lancashire Borough Council – who have managed to completely ignore the fact that around about 20% of their landmass is likely to disappear underwater by 2015.

This will happen under Environment Agency plans to turn off two pumping stations and allow once-reclaimed but now rich horticultural land to return to unfarmable marsh. This would cost thousands of jobs in the horticulture industry, and disrupt thousands of lives. Even the dozy local Tory MP, who claimed at a meeting in early November that it was the first she’d heard of it (the consultation began on 29th September), has briefly woken up.

But not those West Lancs Tories.

Despite having had an official representative on the Environment Agency steering group, they apparently haven’t noticed that a large part of their borough is due to be permanently flooded, and failed to put the matter on this week’s Cabinet agenda

Losing a fifth of your borough’s landmass without even noticing is, I think you’d agree, incompetent even by Tory standards.

Habe you heard any oher tales we may have missed out?

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About the author
Paul Cotterill is a regular contributor, and blogs more regularly at Though Cowards Flinch, an established leftwing blog and emergent think-tank. He currently has fingers in more pies than he has fingers, including disability caselaw, childcare social enterprise, and cricket.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Conservative Party ,Local Government ,Westminster

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Reader comments


Re: number 9

Oh dear, how dare someone with non-mainstream religious/philosophical views stand for public office!

Honestly, I might expect mockery of minorities on other websites but not on here. Shame on Liberal Conspiracy for acting like intolerant bigots.

For your number one, you have completely ignored the complexity of a difficult and complex environmental issue. Is your beef that the council has not been aware of it – because they are incompetent, or that they have not cared to oppose it? It is quite possible from the article that relevent councilllors have agreed the work needs doing, and the MP is simply reacting to their mail bag – quite likely having been aware of it beforehand.

How they have handled this issue is worthy of better analysis than they are dozy, and thus “straight in at number 1”.

3. Dick the Prick

Yeah. Think 9’s a bit random – come on, Tories being smug is fair enough – a guy’s gotta have some fun . but yeah, have a couple:

Kirklees – Tony Brice has been done for benefit fraud and he’s got a bit of history. Asked to be tried in a neighbouring town as, er, people know him in his ward – whodda thunk.

Calderdale – now this one’s just odd – head of children’s services left after 2 days into the job and is suing the council for libel – bit of a rumpus.

http://www.halifaxcourier.co.uk/news/local/why_i_left_the_truth_1_3972038

Well at least they didn’t try to get a Necromancer elected to council, they’d be eyeing up all the pensioners as potential “experiments” then.

Why only highlight bad or corrupt Tory councils? I know this is a left-wing site and you are certainly correct to target council corruption but to do so politically selectively undermines your cause somewhat.

6. Dick the Prick

@5 – well get some Labour stories lad, we all like a chuckle.

@5 – you can find stuff like this all over the country and in different parties. It says more about local government and the quality of the people who become councillors more than anything else. I usually characterise them as little hitlers, people who either too thick to turn their interest in politics into a career, or young careerists waiting for a safe seat. The majority of them make local authority workers look like brain surgeons. No wonder turnout is so low.

8. David Boothroyd

The notoriously competitive Westminster city council will be disappointed to miss a place in the list, but they are trying to make it good next time with their evening and weekend parking policy which has been slagged off in the Standard every day for the past three weeks.

I can’t believe Hammersmith & Fulham isn’t on that list. I mean, they’ve only been featured in Private Eye’s “Rotten Boroughs” 13 times.

Cllr Stephen Cowan reveals their latest scam
http://www.thecowanreport.com/2011/11/h-homes-under-hammer-but-council-blocks.html


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Glen Chisholm

    Interesting read !! Top 10 terrible Tory councils of the past 10 weeks http://t.co/AcyxFGNU"

  2. David Gregory

    And you though our guys were bad… http://t.co/IXfwCyDq

  3. Nigel Shoosmith

    Top 10 terrible Tory councils of the past 10 weeks. Get in there Mendip. You're at Number 9. http://t.co/7zWMx1H6

  4. Graham Bates

    Top 10 terrible Tory councils of the past 10 weeks http://t.co/yjpzK4if

  5. Laura Ellman

    Link to the top ten terrible tory councils – not a good day for #Barnet coming in at no.2 cc: @AlexBrodkin http://t.co/g4iBxenU

  6. Len Arthur

    Top 10 terrible Tory councils of the past 10 weeks http://t.co/yjpzK4if

  7. Noxi

    RT @libcon: Top 10 terrible Tory councils of the past 10 weeks http://t.co/yiaNTIyX

  8. David O'Keefe

    Top 10 terrible Tory councils of the past 10 weeks http://t.co/yjpzK4if

  9. Matthew Bourgeois

    RT @libcon: Top 10 terrible Tory councils of the past 10 weeks http://t.co/c3YGKXEK

  10. Janet Graham

    Top 10 terrible Tory councils of the past 10 weeks http://t.co/yjpzK4if

  11. James Hargrave

    Top 10 terrible Tory councils of the past 10 weeks | Liberal Conspiracy: http://t.co/BBTFTeX4 <—yea! Suffolk is NOT on the list!

  12. gwyn bailey

    RT @libcon: Top 10 terrible Tory councils of the past 10 weeks http://t.co/xTt7lr0Q

  13. Alice in Blunderland

    Top 10 terrible Tory councils of the past 10 weeks | Liberal Conspiracy: http://t.co/BBTFTeX4 <—yea! Suffolk is NOT on the list!

  14. Alex Braithwaite

    Top 10 terrible Tory councils of the past 10 weeks | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/H9AC0WW7 via @libcon

  15. richardbrennan

    Top 10 terrible Tory councils of the past 10 weeks | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/673weaTx via @libcon

  16. David Davies

    Top 10 terrible Tory councils of the past 10 weeks ~ http://t.co/wUPLPYbq





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