Is there an election coming? I ask because Mr Bluh — even though he comments similarly himself — is behaving as though there isn’t. Mr Montaut and Mr Wills have both expressed concern over the amount of money being spent by Swindon Borough Council on Westminster lobbyists: £129,400 over 18 months.
In a time of economic hardship, where council employees are experiencing real-terms pay cuts and day centres for the elderly are being shut down, Swindon can ill afford to pay for luxuries like a lobbying contract in London, when there are perfectly acceptable, cheaper alternatives to getting central Government funding – like using Swindon’s two MPs.
Now, leaving aside the distinct failure of said two MPs to do anything of use for Swindon in Westminster — Ms Snelgrove isn’t known as the government’s representative in South Swindon for nothing — and that it may well turn out to be money well spent, the council’s finances are in a dire state and every penny spent should be thoroughly justified.
Alas, it seems that Mr Bluh doesn’t believe in justifying how he spends our money.
This attack is the last gasp from two failed Members of Parliament who have not delivered for local people. Their comments are designed purely for the forthcoming election and have nothing to do with the future of the borough.
I’m sure Messrs Montaut and Wills made their comments with the elections in mind. That doesn’t mean they’re not legitimate concerns. And more importantly, concerns that the electorate of Swindon might wish to have answered.
With the council short of money, yet having spent almost £½M on the Radio 1 Big Weekend and almost another £½M on wifi, Mr Bluh needs to try far harder and actually justify the money his council administration takes from us, rather than just responding with arrogance and contempt.
If he doesn’t, the electorate may decide that Mr Bluh too will have nothing to do with the future of the borough.