Dark forces at work at council

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I can’t help feeling that there are dark forces at work within the inscrutable corridors of WLDC.

It brings to mind Churchill’s observation of a Post War Soviet Union in which he describes it as “a riddle, wrapped in a puzzle inside an enigma.” There is an arbitrariness to decision making within the organisation that at best belies contempt and at worse reveals an unhealthy dose of both incompetence and wilful disregard for the people who they are empowered to serve. Make no mistake it is arbitrary; the smoke screen that is “public consultation” is a pathetic pantomime intended to give the impression of democratic process but in reality is simply a rubber stamping exercise.The schism between what Gainsborough needs and what the, so called decision makers think we need is created as a result of them having, to use the vernacular no skin in the game. They don’t live in Gainsborough and are too far removed to have any empathy for the people of the town. Gainsborough is, to these leaders planners, commissioners, strategists etc, simply a large sand-pit which allows them to test their assumptions and play out scenarios, with minimal repercussions or reprisals should it all go “Pete Tong”. It’s Westminster and bankers but at a local level, a self-perpetuating bubble where poor decision making and bad governance is rewarded because its almost impossible to determine who is responsible let alone get them to admit that something went wrong. On the odd occasion that somebody does get “found out”, they invariably end up performing equally appallingly for some other district council and thus the status quo continues. It’s death by a thousand cuts, confidence dwindles, mistrust breeds and apathy in the local populace becomes endemic.The thing that is most irksome for the average person is that there is no mechanism for challenging in-flight schemes, let along nipping them in the bud at the inception stage before they become unstoppable juggernauts. The Gainsborough town council appear to be toothless in this regard, becoming mere onlookers desperately trying to avoid becoming political road-kill by taking the wrong stance. There are some specific “big ticket” items that need serious debate; the new hotel, mass building of homes, inadequate infrastructure and services, to name but a few, but the dissenting voices are brushed under the carpet to perpetuate the vain schemes conceived by nest-feathering individuals who ride rough-shod over the needs and wants of local townsfolk and traders alike.Without wanting to sound like a stuck record; Gainsborough should be allowed evolve from within and someone somewhere needs to provide a platform to allow the town to resist having hair-brained schemes foisted upon it – even if said schemes might produce the odd job here or there. Give us basic services appropriate to the town’s size and social and demographic needs, then let’s have the debate about doubling its size!

Ian Hughes

(via email)