Thursday, 14 March 2013

Earlier this week, we heard of the anger expressed by the Labour group on Boston Borough Council at the use of the council website to publicise gifts by local Conservative county council members under the authority’s Big Society give-away.
Labour said – and with some justification – that this was helping  the campaign for the county council elections on 2nd May, and that the proper place to report the news was on the County Council website, as the gifts were made by our borough councillors in their county capacity.
We are finding it hard to imagine how much angrier the Labour members would have been yesterday when the Boston Standard flopped limply on to their doormats and they found on page seven a 750-word epistle from Boston Borough Council leader – and county councillor –  Pete Bedford.
It went to great lengths to praise the way his council was “working smarter” – is that English? – and went on to list a shedload of recent achievements.
The list was interminable …
A balanced  budget …
Improved services without the need to increase council tax – although doubtless helped by a government “bribe” to freeze it …
Justification of the juggling of the council’s community fund …
The give-away of the Peter Paine Sports Centre to Boston College – a facility that critics say was never owned or run by the council, and which many are concerned will mean a loss of public access …
Another handover – this time of the Garfits Lane sports field from the council’s leisure services department to one of its committees – which will somehow magically enable it to access grants that the council cannot …
Working with partners “in the smartest ways that we can” appears to be exemplified by the approval of a planning application for a multi-million pound marina development.
Certainly, to read Councillor Bedford’s words – assuming that they are indeed his – you could be forgiven for thinking that the marina idea had been dreamed up by the council and the council alone, rather than an imaginative entrepreneur … something that was reinforced when the council and Boston BID took to our local TV news to blather on about it.
To us, Councillor Bedford’s feature reads more like an apology – or at best a feeble justification – of what the council has done, rather than a celebration.
But to return to our original point.
In a few days’ time such an article could not have appeared because of the regulations surrounding publicity in the run-up to an election.
We wonder whether the Boston Standard thought of this when it gave Councillor Bedford so much space to blow the Tory trumpet, and if for a moment it thought that such an item might be in terpreted as less than impartial.
A commonsense view would be that a contribution like this is nothing more than well timed piece of propaganda that whilst praising the borough council, also creates a good impression of localTory candidates at the county council election.
Whilst the Boston Standard’s rock bottom circulation of 7,684 is painfully low, it equates to more than 20,000 potential readers, and has delivered a free manifesto for the Conservatives that must be delighting the boys and girls in blue at Worst Street.

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1 comment:

  1. Scouter 41March 14, 2013

    "We wonder whether the Boston Standard thought of this when it gave Councillor Bedford so much space to blow the Tory trumpet"

    Yet another shameless piece of opportunism siezed by the self appointed and self seeking Cabinet we poor sods have to suffer in Boston. What a coincidence of timing..... my word, do they really think those who have bothered to register as voters are so gullible.

    Tells us all something methinks, about the present West Street mentality.

    How far away is the 2nd of May, now?