This blog was produced on Monday prior to the weeks events.
They do say a week in politics is a long time
As the Conservatives approach the end of the first six months in charge at the Guildhall it is a good time to take stock.
Our Manifesto is being delivered, some short-term promises have already been put in place such as Car Parking (remember how the previous leader called this a gimmick?), freezing councillor allowances at their current level until 2015 , the return of 2 weekly brown bin collections, introduction of Park Rangers and Neighbourhood Wardens.
Medium term promises are being progressed, supporting the Saints to build their new stand, the St Johns Hotel development, the new Bus Interchange and the reduction in the Council’s Management costs.
We’ve also added to what was in the manifesto, the SEMLEP Enterprise Zone being the major one, and locally I’m pleased we have agreed to award the Sea Cadets the Freedom of Northampton and the restoration of Honorary Aldermen alongside the succesful Heritage Lottery Bid for the Delapre Abbey Restoration.
We have also cut down on the number of reports and the size of the reports that come to Cabinet making the whole of the decision-making process more efficient.
This has caused a stir with the opposition who would have preferred to have stayed with 50 page performance reports and spend their time discussing such things – and I am not making this up –
“The number of press release sent out by the media department!!, (The previous administration actually had a target for this)
“The number of positive items in the Local Press” (basically how many pictures of them have been published in the Chronicle & Echo)
“The number of planning applications approved within 12 weeks”
“How many senior manager were female, male, BME”
What we and I believe the public are most interested in are the areas that are over – achieving so we can redistribute resources to the other area we want to know about and that is those that are failing
If the opposition want to go through all of the information then it is available on the Councils intranet.
Of course as we all know that when you’re in opposition you have the luxury of waking up every morning firmly convinced you know the answer to everything – and you do – because like the man in the pub who can pick a world winning football team – you don’t have to deliver.
Last May we promised to deliver our manifesto and in the first 6 months have made a reasonable start which we are determined to build on over the next 3 years and beyond.
What we will not do is react or even over-react to the oppositions negative approach which only distracts us from the main objectives and will continue to talk positively and optimistically about Northampton’s future.