Ian Shires

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Willenhall North Ward, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Walsall MBC Learn more

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Walsall Council Budget – Update

by Ian Shires on 24 February, 2017

Published by danielbarker on 24 February, 2017

If it had been a sporting contest, there would now be allegations about match-fixing. The Conservatives, given a golden opportunity to win, clearly set out to lose.

With the Council finely balanced, the unexpected absence of Cllr Richard Worrall – struggling to get back from a day in the East Midlands thanks to Storm Doris – handed the advantage to the Tories & their independent/kipper allies. It became clear as the meeting went on that Labour were slowing things down to give their absent colleague time to get back before the crucial vote. The Tories quickly realised this, but rather than seize the moment and use it to vote down the Budget, they joined in with the obvious delaying tactics.

Cllr Andrew gave their game away when he all but admitted he was helping Labour out and asked a question which virtually gave a Labour Cabinet member a chance to repeat the presentation he had just given! Cllr Perry joined in by taking about quarter of an hour to talk about Pelsall Library (which ultimately prevented a number of other councillors speaking on this subject).

It was in the middle of Cllr Perry’s speech that Cllr Worrall arrived to much applause & cheering, thereby returning the numbers advantage back in favour of the Budget going through, which it did.

But why did the Tories want to lose this vote? It’s so they could then blame the nasty Labour & Lib.Dem. councillors for making all the cuts that they haven’t got the guts to make themselves! The last thing the Tories wanted was the responsibility of having to make these difficult decisions and getting the blame that goes with them.

Labour & the Lib.Dems. are not only doing Theresa May’s dirty work for her; we are now doing the local Tories’ dirty work as well.


7 Responses

  1. martin hughes says:

    This is the most perverse, twisted, mealy-mouthed, passive aggressive piece of propaganda I’ve ever read.
    Councillor Shires, if you were capable of it, I would ask you to feel some sort of shame.

    • Ian Shires says:

      I didn’t write it but it’s a fair assessment of what went on last night.

      • martin hughes says:

        You’ve a budget of hundreds of millions of pounds, you’re playing with the services of a quarter of a million people and the jobs of thousands more, yet your writer put this over as nothing more than a game of schoolyard football to be won by fair means or foul. It’s broadly indicative of the state of partisan politics at a local and national level. I feel that it speaks volumes about the calibre of those who feel called upon to represent us. I object to the mocking, yah-boo-sucks tone of the piece and would have hoped for something more professional from a councillor.

        • Ian Shires says:

          I don’t disagree with the thrust of what you are saying. In fact if you read the article again it makes the very same point, The Tories were in a majority for over an hour as one of the Labour Councillors was stuck on a train in the East Midlands due to storm Doris. It was they who were using delaying tactics and the writer of the article was making that point.

          • Linda LaGauche says:

            Cllr Barker you are being a bit warped I am aware that several items were moved around the Agenda by the Labour Mayor so that the budget was the last item on the Agenda so that the Labour man could get back – are you not proud of your budget or did you want the tories to vote it down?

          • Ian Shires says:

            We were pleased that the Coalition Budget got through the Council. The point that was being made was that the Tories had the opportunity to vote down, amend or indeed put forward a budget of their own and didn’t take it yet then went on to critise a number of proposals in our budget. Don’t you find that a bit odd? Certainly if the shoe had been on the other foot we would have taken the opportunity to stop their budget in its tracks.

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