One of my photos

Enquiry from the press

October 24th, 2006 · Posted by Skuds in Life/Politics · 4 Comments · Life, Politics

I had a very strange phone call the other day. It was a chap from a local paper asking me if I knew why Councillor Alan Quirk had resigned from the management committee of the Broadfield Youth & Community Centre.

On the face of it a reasonable question, but I have not been involved in the BYCC for a couple of years, and don’t really keep up with all the comings and goings.

It will be interesting to see what the paper writes, if anything. I don’t know if they were expecting any juicy gossip or hints of scandal but, unfortunately, the resignation was quite straightforward and much as I dislike the bloke personally and for his politics I couldn’t be bothered to make up any juicy gossip about Alan Quirk, tempting though it was.

The truth is that following the Tories taking control of the council in May, Alan was, contrary to all common sense, elevated to an executive position. His portfolio (community engagement) includes responsibility for grants to the voluntary sector and the BYCC, which he was chairing, depends on one of those grants for its continuing existence. Obviously that promotion created a conflict of interests and one of the jobs had to go.

All very boring, but I still have a few questions knocking around in my head like: as Quirk must have resigned from the BYCC in June or July why is it suddenly newsworthy? Since when has the Broadfield community centre’s internal politics been at all newsworthy? Why do the papers keep phoning me but never leave a comment on here to say hello? Where did my DVD of Family Guy series one get to?

Sorry.. my mind wanders sometimes.

Just don’t get me started on why anybody on the council still has any responsibility for how grants are apportioned. Even while I was still a politician I was trying to get that decision taken out of the politicians’ hands – after sitting on a grants appeals panel and seeing the arbitrary nature of the discussions, and seeing the officers prepare huge reports on the pros and cons of a particular application only to see decisions made on a whim. Its a debate I tried to start but nobody else wanted to have.

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • E Bungle

    Surely the decision of how council tax money is given away needs to be made by people accountable to the public? there are too many decisions taken by unelected officials as it is.

    However much more importantly, I hope you get your Family Guy back soon, life can be hell without a bit of political incorrectness to get you through the day.

  • Skuds

    Quite right. The decision of how much in total to allocate to grants is a political decision. It is tied up with the overall budget.

    How that budget is then spent is another matter, which should be done impartially.

  • Jane Skudder

    Have you looked down the back of the sofa. For the DVD not the answer to political conundrums. Conundra. Puzzles…..

  • Skuds

    No – but I did find it.
    Somebody had shoved it on the shelf horizontally on top of the other DVDs instead of vertically next to series 2.

    As the shelf is waist height I didn’t notice it there. Which reminds me.. I haven’t finished watching series 4 yet. Might do that tonight.