As an update on yesterdays post, according to today’s Gazette the final part of the full Council meeting resembled a scene from “Flog It”, as the mayor’s gavel took a hammering not dissimilar to an England back four!
Croatia? No, South Tyneside Homes, with the forward row once again being the Branleys.
With a deficit last year of £500,000, and a similar short fall predicted for this year, STH may be forced to subsidise its income with sales of the Big Issue, such is the magazines success for the homeless far more influential than the ALMO’s current state of affairs.
The issue here for the Branley’s was not just the ineptitude of the bodies’ executive, but the lack of political balance on its board. Not so for Councillor John Wood, one of 4 Labour members.
“I don’t go there as Councillor John Wood”. Who then does he go as? Surely not Bob the Builder? Sadly not, “I go there for the residents of South Tyneside. We have put in a mammoth amount of work to get the two stars”. Supporting his fellow Labour colleagues, council leader Paul Waggot brought up the rear with the comments that the board did not have to be politically balanced, “It’s the best people who need to be on the board”. Well unfortunately for John, Paul (sadly no Ringo or George) STH failed to gain two stars, and so lost out on millions of pounds worth of funding. So much for the best and so much for the “mammoth” effort! Perhaps a stronger political balance would have been able to foresee these problems and initiated a change of direction before the Auditor dealt the group such a crushing blow.
As a foot note, the Gazette will be covering other issues in Saturday’s edition.
The paper seems to have embarked on a new path with regards to Council issues, with some excellent coverage emerging from the pens of its local reporters. In addition to this, the public gallery has never been so packed. If you think this month’s get together was entertaining, wait for the next one: it will surpass all expectations.
Trust me; I have already seen some of the public questions which will be tabled. If I were a councillor, I would be worried.