Posted by: westlancashirerecord | May 15, 2017

Annual Report 2017 From County Councillor David O’Toole

Paraphrasing his annual report to parish councils, we report that he said “Chairman, members of the Parish Council thank you for asking me to give my annual report, it’s always a pleasure to attend Downholland PC. [Due to the appalling austerity cuts made by my own Conservative Government to Lancashire County Council grants my report is full of doom and gloom]...”This year at county hall has been one of the most fractious and divisive I can remember during my time as your county councillor. With splits in the controlling group, the deputy leader not seeking re-election, and a number of councillors being dumped by their own group. [Reminds me of West Lancashire Conservatives in May 2014 when we dumped Adrian Owens as elected leader…the lust for power…what a mess that was, but I digress, Labour is far worse!]

“We have seen massive cuts to important services and facilities across the county. Some 39 0f the 79 libraries have closed as have children centres and community centres for the elderly. In West Lancashire we have seen the closure of three libraries and the withdrawal of facilities for children at the excellent town centre Moorgate nursery. My constituents were very angry at the depletion of services at the Derby Centre with many pointing out that the elderly relatives they care for had always looked forward to attending the centre to catch up with their friends and take part in the activities.

“We saw massive cuts in public transport across the county, some-thing which unfortunately Downholland [not to mention Halsall, Haskayne and Aughton] knows a great deal about. During the year a large part of the county children services was in great danger of being taken into special measures after a damming report from Ofsted”.

“The controlling group [Labour in case you’ve forgotten] commissioned Price Waterhouse Coopers to carry out an in depth investigation into the county finances and other aspects of the management of the county at a cost of well over one million pounds. The resulting report did not make good reading for the administration and was held back until after the budget setting meeting which again saw a hike in your council tax”.

“After extraordinary problems we at last saw the provision of bus stops on the A5147 in the vicinity of the Kings Arms. At times it felt that both your clerk Margaret and I were talking to a brick wall. [Here is what my wall looks like now  click to read]

“Many people have been concerned about recent scaremongering regarding the possibility of Fracking. I can assure you that I have been to see the most senior planning officer in West Lancashire and have been assured that there are no applications for Fracking anywhere within my Division. I also contacted a senior person at Cuadrilla who confirmed that no such applications exist”. [But they ARE just up the road…shhhh!]

“There is more I could say, I usually do, but I expect I am boring you to death so I’ll end it there…no, don’t clap you’ll wake the audience up!”

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