LETTER: No ‘joined-up thinking’ in local government

A FRIEND of mine went to Ribble Valley Borough Council earlier this year to report a blocked grid; not uncommon in these humid times, with rain and cutbacks.

“Not our responsibility! Ring Lancashire County Council,” was the response.

“Would you do it?” he asked. “No” came the reply.

And to my friend as he was leaving: “And it might not be them, but United Utilities.”

My friend eventually rang Lancashire County Council.

Our elected representatives talk about saving money, using “joined-up thinking”. Eric Pickles (Local Government Secretary) has found 50 ways for local authorities to save. A telephone call costs money, but an e-mail, once a system is set up, is free.

And not only would it have saved the ratepayer money, it would have impressed the punter with the efficiency of a system which, all too clearly, is not for the benefit of locals, but for officers and councillors, many of whom are not in Clitheroe, where most of the problems are, but in nice bijou houses in the outlying villages.

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