We reported yesterday about the serial complainer and seeker of information who has cost Boston Borough Council unspecified “thousands” of pounds – which is one reason why Worst Street has created a special policy to deal with profligates such as this. All well and good – but given the need to watch every penny these days we wonder how the council can justify blowing £600 on a finger buffet for the Mayor’s Christmas Party.
Of course that amount is just the tip of the iceberg. No wine is mentioned – but being Christmas, we are sure that some was bought to make this cosy little jolly go with a swing. And let’s not forget that the annual cost of the mayor’s office is around £80,000. Worst Street justifies this by saying that it is an historic role dating back hundreds of years and which we all want to retain – but when other much smaller savings are taking place, this argument sounds a little hollow. And don’t start us on the £100k cost of giving councillors and staff free parking!
Another argument about the mayoral role is that it recognises long service – but that is no longer true either. The Mayor-elect, Councillor Stephen Woodliffe will have slightly less than five years as a councillor when he dons the chain of office to enjoy a year of free meals, interesting outings and a chauffeur driven car at the taxpayers’ expense. So many new councillors have now come on board in recent years, that we will see this high reward for low periods of service repeated again and again. All of the really long servers have done the job at least once over the years and thinking of some of them, we are sure that no-one would want to see then back.
No, if Worst Street is truly sincere when it talks of making savings – the role of Mayor should fade quietly away.
It really is interesting to note Worst Street’s contrasting attitude to money. Scarcely had some of our lowest paid workers celebrated this week’s rise in the national living wage than Boston Borough Council was on the case to warn them that the extra cash might affect claims for housing benefit or council tax support.
“If your income has gone up, because of the living wage increase or for any other reasons, and you are claiming housing benefit or council tax support or both please contact Boston Borough Council revenues and benefits service … It is an offence to not let the council know of any changes in your circumstances if you are claiming benefits.”
Our earlier mention of Councillor Woodliffe reminds us yet again that as Mayor, he will have to relinquish his cabinet role of portfolio holder for environmental health, community safety and emergency planning. So far, there is no mention of a replacement. Does this mean that ‘Nipper’ is out of ideas for a stand-in? That would not surprise us one bit
Just when you think that things couldn't get any worst for Boston – along comes Google Street View.
Late last year, the firm updated its tour of Boston and had the bad fortune to capture this action shot on the left of a citizen seeking relief in a quiet corner of the town.
Bizarrely the photo was taken in Fountain Lane!
Doubtless, the borough’s newly adopted policy of roughing up whomever Worst Street deems to be a “serial complainer” is behind the spend on a course about how to handle “tricky” conversations.
We are old enough to recall the days when people employed in such situations had sufficient native intelligence, guile and wit to handle such problems unaided – and not need some clever dick with most likely no real-life experience the subject in hand to spew out a load of clever buzz words and charge £500 for a two or three hour session.
Things to do with planning are always a little mysterious, and a recent application excited some interest when Brown’s Bar in Dolphin Lane was reported as applying for change of use to a ‘sexual entertainment’ venue.
This apparently rubbed the owners up the wrong way – if you’ll pardon our choice of words.
First Brown’s took to Facebook to say: “Despite what has been written in the local press, Brown's have no intention of turning itself into a sexual entertainment venue tomorrow. We have simply applied for a change of use from A4 (drinking establishments) to Sui Generis, which is better suited for our late night trade as we strive toward increasing the "club" side of our operations.”
When this comment was reported, the club followed with a second rant.
“Good morning Boston Target and Standard! Let's see if you local rags can twist facts to suit the ‘news’ today? Try this for a change and get it right: A4 2 Sui Genris (sic) = what?? Please explain how you connect this with a SEX license operational application?
“Come on now, as you pump this ‘news’ day in and day out? Can't you make out the difference between a Planning Application and a Sex Entertainment Operational License application, or are you just plain idiots?
In a spirit of helpfulness, this is how Boston Borough Council listed the application
And this is how the club’s application form described things.
The phrase Sui generis is defined as: in a class or group of its own; not like anything else; unique.
Perhaps Mr Brown is confusing it with the lady called Sue Generous – who is most likely a frequent habitué of the club.
Perhaps an apology to our local newspapers is in order?
Earlier this week we talked about the hundreds of thousands of pounds being thrown at the Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex and the PRSA on a biomass heating project which is expected to generate huge profits in in the coming twenty years or so.
Let’s hope that this comes to pass.
When the plan to festoon the Moulder with solar panels – which included a similarly long payback period – was under discussion, we heard mutterings about the future life of the building.
Sections of the roof were built at different times – and the main pool roof may need replacing in about eight years, whilst the building itself is said to have 20 years’ life left.
A worst case scenario involving replacement of the main pool roof around 2024, says removal and reinstallation solar panels would be a comparatively minor – but an interesting line added: “If the council decided instead to demolish the facility and sell the site, it would not incur any financial penalties from the Government and by that time we would be circa three to four years beyond the payback period (for the solar system) anyway.”
Why do we fear that another debacle is lurking on Worst Street’s already cloudy horizon?
We could scarcely contain our excitement when our poll cards arrived for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections on Thursday 5th May. Because of our interest in this sort of thing, we know that there are three party political candidates, but to date none of them has managed to find our letterbox in the middle of Boston to make their pitch. If they can’t be bothered, then nor can we. Actually, we shan’t be voting anyway. Firstly, we think that the job is unnecessary, and secondly that if it really must be done it should not be a political appointment, but done by someone with an understanding of police work and its mechanics. Candidates – look out for the note explaining it all which will be stapled to our vote on the day, because not to vote – even in protest – is a diminution of democracy.
Finally, there are no marks out of five for the Boston Beano over the past week. Despite the Big Boston Litter thingy much of the content is still barely relevant to the council, and we hear that readers are voting with their mouse.
In a moment of indiscretion following a problem over a multiple mailing a reader was told … “We have had so many people wanting to unsubscribe …”
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