Mick Scrimshaw: How did our councils get here?

By Mick Scrimshaw on March 24, 2021

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Following on from yesterday's post, "What's going on at our councils", long-time Kettering Labour councillor Mick Scrimshaw takes a look at how we got here.

Some may be wondering how we got to this position. To put it simply, it is following the financial meltdown of the County Council where the Conservative leadership completely mishandled the finances and became known as ‘the worst council in the country’.

Instead of following sensible and imaginative ways other councils did to deal with the national funding cuts from government they came up with an ideological scheme to pretty much outsource all of the work of the Council. It fitted in with their ideas that private businesses were always good, and if they used a private business model they would automatically save money.

Their ideas had no substance or business plans to back them up and show how they thought it would work, and because the Conservative councillors in charge deluded themselves about their plan and went into denial about the need for alternatives.

The council basically bankrupted itself so the government decided to simply abolish all the local councils and start again rather than have the political embarrassment of what their Conservative colleagues had done.

This is the background to the new elections and the real danger to all of us is that the denial and misunderstanding that previously took place will simply happen again if we elect the same people as before.

What we need is a new imaginative and progressive council with members willing to stand up against ideas and suggestions when they are clearly based on nothing but hope and misunderstanding. Please think carefully about who you vote for!

The image of Kettering Labour's Mick Scrimshaw raising his hand is credited to Leila Coker.

Mick Scrimshaw is the Leader of the Labour Group at Kettering Borough Council, the Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance at Northamptonshire County Council. He has a public record of standing up for Kettering as a County Councillor for the Northall division in Kettering, Northants and since May 2015, a Borough Councillor for the William Knibb ward. He is a keen cyclist and also runs a family business with his wife.

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