Holy Backhanders Pt.2

Thankfully, the Council have now limited the amount that can be given out to community groups to £500. I'm sure this will mean no further large grants for pet projects of the councillors themselves.

Doesn't it? Or are they exempt?

Holy back-handers Batman

*Phew*

That was a worry wasn't it? Were the councillors of our fair town going to refuse £5,000 of our money to a pet project of one of their own number? It really looked like they might. Didn't it? No?

So, another 5K gets handed to Councillor Hawkesworth for her Summer Festival on the say-so of her colleagues. Nice one. Doubles all round at Ilkley Golf Club then...

Ca$h, glorious ca$h

We seem stuck with this surplus to the precept. SO stuck, indeed, that various are attempting to persuade the parish council to pass the money to various veteran's charities. Now, I have no problem giving money to veterans of this parish. But why should we be taxed and then the money passed to national charities. If I wanted to give my hard-earned away (and, obviously, I don't), I would. Don't steal from me and then make it compulsory.

Pass the teapot

We've entered mad march hare season. Everyone who has ever worked in the public sector knows the feeling. Desperate to spend that last fragment of cash, because it can't be carried over (though IPC have managed to carry over money the last two FYs, but they're special). SO lots of jobs get done that, uhhr, really don;t need to be done.

Okay, the new kiddies playground is welcome.

But why are we moving all the zebra crossings in town about one yard to the left (or right)?

And why are pipes being put in even when there's been no problem with the water?

And why has Queen's Road had its roads planed today? ANd just, when it comes down to it, what is road-planing?

Machine Gun redux

So farewell to Manfred Mann as our Parish Council Chair, and welcome back to Machine Gun Gibbons. For a third term. Just as a reminder for those at the back (this is everyday tit-for-tat), Machine Gun was the man responsible for the precept we all pay. Well, I say all. Machine Gun doesn't pay it. He lives in Otley. Yes, taxation organisaed by someone who doesn't have to pay it.

And it's no coincidence that his return should be accompanied by the spread of cameras across the streets around the town. Machince Gun has his home cinema set up to watch everything we're doing. Be afraid, be slightly afraid.

Pink'd

The official ban on hunting with dogs comes into force today. Now, I'm not going to get into the whole 'is it right or is it wrong' thing. Frankly the limp-wristed arguments of both sides leave me cold.

What does amaze me, though, is the insistence of the pro-hunt lobby that their, uhhr, activity, is a matter of civil, nay, human rights. Somewhere in our unwriten constitution, every true-born Englishman has been given the right to tear wild animals to pieces. Kewel.

Course, if they really believe that, we'll be seeing a few of the huntsmen in full pink outside Belmarsh Prison. Perhaps they'll be building alliances with other victims of human rights abuses. "You support our right to tear animals to pieces, and we'll support your right not to be imprisoned without trial, suffer house arrest, and have your passports removed on evidence produced under torture." It could happen. Couldn't it?

But if this bill stops hunting with dogs, what's to stop our local hunts recruiting other agents to do their dirty work? I can see it now, 'The Bramham Hunt's new Master of Feral Scutter Children'. There's plenty of them around in Leeds, and no-one would miss a few. Probably be getting better diets as a result too.

Wild green yonder

Dunno if it was just me who got the Bradford Council glossy handout a few weeks back. Lots of lovely statistics and pieces about the frankly bizarre 'Seat Belt Girl' campaign. Buried in the statistics was some material on the performance of the various local departments.

Having worked in the public sector, I know these alays, but always, show an upward trend (the secret is to re-forecast between reporting dates, so you're always achieving/surpassing targets). Only, not this time. One department was notable by its lack of success, and its tumbling performance. And which one would that be? Step forward Councillor Anne 'no pasaran' Hawkesworth and her Environmental Department. Well done that woman.

It's started

Another of our regular themes is the coming of the Ilkley police state. It's nothing of a surprise to see the first dry runs in place in neighbouring  Burley. Cars are being stopped at the village entrance 'to make sure they're not stolen'.

Apparently it's an idea provided by the LAPD and their 'Rodney King community relations' department.

Mind, as the Ilkley copper stated a week ago that it's an offence to provide false ID papers to bouncers at pubs, I'm not sure ANY of them have a grasp of the law.

flippety--floppety-flippety-flop

I will do a long post on the upcoming election and the BNP and so on very soon. In the meantime, thanks to private eye, I note that our beloved membress of parliament is not that consistent on the subject of iD cards. On Nov 28th last year, she voted for an adjournment motion calling for major changes to the bill. And the very next day, November 29th, she praised the whole notion for its likely (ho hum) impact on illegal immigration.

I love a woman who knows her own mind. Wonder what she received over night? A free colour and rinse?

I particularly enjoy her contribution to the debate on provision of broadband.