In this rotten borough we learn very little from council about Selflessness; Integrity; Objectivity; Accountability; Openness; Honesty; Leadership, all of which form the basis of the ethical standards expected of public office holders.
They are included in a range of Codes of Conduct across public life. They are all about transparency and accountability. So why are they so sparse, in areas like the Burscough flooding problems, the Beacon Park Golf Course landfill scandal, the now questionable Ormskirk Pagoda removal, the missing yet paid elected members for Ashurst and Aughton & Downholland wards, the persistent size of the bloated council of 54 elected members at huge wasted cost, to name a few?
As an example, Rosie Cooper MP announced she had “Secured commitment from Lancashire County Council for highways improvements on the roundabout at Lulworth in Ashurst. Concerned residents contacted MP Rosie because the roundabout was in a very poor state and their belief that workers at a nearby housing development were responsible.
“After investigation, it was decided that given the lack of clear evidence of a link to any nearby development, LCC will be responsible for any necessary remedial work”.
But Ashurst has three elected members, albeit one has been absent for six months. How did the other two miss the local problem? Why did the concerned residents need the help of Rosie Cooper? For a county problem haven’t they got a County Councillor?
The Beacon Park Golf Course is in Tanhouse ward. Two elected council members, have they been to the club to share the anguish of the Seniors about the state of the ripped off land-filled course? Verdict, “wouldn’t know them if we saw them”!
In often flooded with sewage Burscough, the concerned Burscough Flooding Group have asked time and again for help. Burscough has four elected council members, all on the planning committee. Yet they and officers respond time and again with negativity. What are they paid for? In the latest council response there are 12 lengthy points by paragraphs of windbaggery where the buck is passed from and between “partners” who “misunderstand” the problem! What’s the problem with recognising and stopping raw sewage that comes with regular flooding? Burscough wanted to get it right in 2014, it’s wrong in 2020 and worsening!
In all these cases, where do we see the seven principles underpinning public life? We don’t see it in the regular changes in council “style” known as reorganisation, leading to regular massive payoffs of senior staff taking huge “redundancy” sums of council tax, probably to resurface at other functions, all, laughingly, abiding by the same seven principles!