"One day I'll be leader of 't council, and then tha'll be sorry!"
This week, as if to prove that there’s no such thing as a straight-talking politician, Cllr John Taylor, began his latest long letter to his dwindling core of bored Tameside readers with:

“I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying the move to Dukinfield Town Hall.” 

And then proceeded at great length to tell them!

When will the writer learn that reading about a boring subject written by a boring person, and written in a boring way, is even more boring?

Not only are these personal meanderings mind-numbingly dull, but invariably, in these days of political correctness, it is not surprising to find that some odd contradictions have crept into many of the councillor’s statements too.

We are all used to those authors who often use oxymoron’s to call attention to apparent contradictions, but Councillor Taylor seems to have honed this current trend into a particular of art form.

Take for instance his insistence that Tameside council elections are totally democratic.

There’s a glaring fundamental contradiction at the very heart of his statement.

How can he declare his support for democracy, whilst at the same time advocate in favour of a local governance system of electing councillors, a third at a time; which effectively means that even if every voter in Tameside voted against them, it would still guarantee that Labour controlled the council? 

And furthermore, it’s a strange type of ‘democratic’ system that effectively puts all the power in the hands of a single individual at the expense of all the other ward councillors?

Folks, we are being governed locally by a toxic combination of public sector stupidity with small town mentality mixed with a band of authoritarian jobsworth’s, where initiative and free thought is not only frowned upon, but actively discouraged!

Heaven help us!



I scanned the Tameside Reporter from cover to cover last week, but alas; there’s been no sign of him!

Could it be he had nothing to preach? Or could it be that he was attending the 87th birthday anniversary of his revolutionary hero Che Guevara?

Either way, I’m sure he’ll soon be back gracing the letters page with more kernels of coprolite knowledge and frequent walks down memory lane which he liberally spreads before us.

But, hang on, what is this? Page 11 of the Manchester Weekly News has just been dropped on my lap and sure enough, there's a letter, ostensibly flowing from the ubiquitous pen of ‘Baird of Dukkie’ concerning his chosen subject ‘Litter’

Now, don’t get me wrong. I too deplore people who wantonly discard their unwanted crap all over our streets, but reading the councillors letter, one wonders whether he really wants littering to stop!

In his letter he claims that in Tameside they spend more than £1million per year picking up after litter louts and was positively drooling over the fact that the Government is to allow councils’ to increase their fixed penalties for littering to £100.

Now here’s where the figures start to worry me. We already know that this council is not what one could call numerate, and if proof was needed, we’ve all heard claims from the councillor himself how he considers the recent local election results to be ‘fair and democratic’ even though a vast number of those entitled to vote, didn’t!

I would be interested to learn how the councillor arrives at his assertion that littering costs Tameside council £1million per year! After all, those that are paid to pick up litter in our streets are paid a set wage to do the job. And they’ll get paid the same whether they pick up 1 ton or 20 tonnes of litter.

You’ve also got to question the wisdom of this career Labourite councillor, when he declares that because of the ‘massive cuts’ that have been imposed upon them, they have less enforcement officers to issue fines! Which is a great example of typically backward politically biased economics.

No one in their right mind would contemplate cutting the numbers of those who not only have the job of bringing in more money, but are actively engaged in working towards building a cleaner and more attractive environment which new businesses and those looking to put down family roots might find attractive.

So, let’s look at his figures again.

With the £1million plus, he says it cost them, one could employ 100 persons per year on £200 per week to pick up litter and I’m sure Tameside don’t employ more than a dozen or so operatives, specifically for that purpose.

It would make far more sense to double or even treble the ‘under-cover surveillance and enforcement officers’ in order to hand out more fines to replenish the council’s coffers!
For instance, let’s assume each town within Tameside has 5 litter enforcement officers who have a conservative target of finding 5 litter droppers per day.

(Even I could catch more than 5 people dropping cigarette butts, toffee wrappers, Food containers and all manner of other rubbish in a day!)

At £100 handed out for each fine, that’s £2500 per day, per town.

There are 9 towns: Ashton-u-Lyne, Audenshaw, Denton, Droylsden, Dukinfield, Hyde, Longdendale, Mossley and Stalybridge which offers a potential £22,500 per day.

Now let’s assume a 5 day working week; Tameside’s front line heroes could be issuing £112,500 worth of fines for dropping litter per week.

Gross that up by 52 weeks and you get a staggering income of over £5.85million!

So instead of littering ‘costing us money’ if those responsible were in any way efficient; even if we assume it does cost over £1million to finance the ‘litter squad’ they could be well over £4.5million per year in profit. 

Now just think how much they could knock of the Parking fees, the Council Tax, Licensing fees for social events, and all the other underhand expenses they subject us to over the course of the year or invest in schemes that encourage businesses to flourish!

So you see why our intrepid councillor loves ‘litter’ so much? The plain fact is he simply can’t afford for Tameside’s litter louts to stop dropping it. Otherwise, instead of shovelling the political nonsense about littering and paying lip-service to the problem and subjecting 'volunteers to grace his photo-opportunities, he would take off the kid gloves and get ruthless! 



I happened across a nugget of coprolite wisdom towards the end of May; albeit hidden away on page 43 of the Reporter, in which, astonishingly, an almost unrecognisable, smartly suited and booted’ councillor was featured clutching yet another trifling award for Ashton Market.

Gone were the scruffy jeans, the high vis’ jerkin and look-a-like trainers; to be replaced by a scrubbed-up ‘Taylor’s dummy’ that looked like it had just been kidnapped from Burton’s Window and for which, if you were not already aware, claims total responsibility for what’s left of Tameside’s markets! (…that is until anything goes wrong, then it becomes someone else’s problem!)

This time, the award was for being ‘The Most Coach Friendly Shopping Destination’ in the National Coach Tourism Awards, organised by the trade magazine, National Coach Monthly!

Now, I don’t know about you, but finding myself unable think of a dedicated place in or around Ashton Market, or even in the whole of Tameside where a group of tourist laden coaches could park up for the day, I plucked up my courage and after popping a couple of Prozac capsules to ward off the inevitable anxiety attack I usually encounter when conversing with bureaucrats, I rang the councils Parking Services Department.

It went something like this:

Ring Ring, …Ring Ring, …Ring, Ring   ….Then the usual scripted insincere nonsense of:

“Hello, Tameside Council, ***** speaking, how can I help you?....”

“Yes, Good morning, can you put me through to someone in the Parking Department, please?”

“Oh, we can deal with that here!”

OK, great, can you tell me where I can park a 56 seat coach, near to the centre of Ashton?”

“Just hold the line, ….....… (there followed 2 minutes of annoying canned music)

“Hello caller, …is it for today?”

“No, no, it’s for future reference!”

“Well you’ve got to write-in in the first instance or send an email at least a week before hand requesting a space and giving us the coach’s details and registration number!”

“Oh, I see, but where exactly is the coach park?”

On Gas Street, behind Bootses! …but as I say, you’ll have to email a week beforehand to request a space to be reserved.”

“OK, well thank you for your help!”

So, if Tameside council have received an award for ‘The Most Coach Friendly Shopping Destination’ based on the facilities as described, one wonders what those other towns who didn't get such an accolade are offering.

The mind boggles!



"Er' sorry folks but I think I got it wrong again!" "...Shit, did I just say sorry?"
Apologies to readers for my prolonged absence from blogging, but I will pull my finger out and get back into the swing of things now the endless election circus is over bar the shouting over the replacement for Red (I got it wrong again) Ed Miliband; which, looking at the calibre of ‘candidates’self-promoting themselves, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s more like 50 shades of Blair, - if these characters are the best that Labour have got, well that's fine with me as it will surely see them languishing in opposition for many, many years.

Now, just because I have taken time out from writing, doesn't mean I stopped observing the various shenanigans which have been going on inside the now empty Ashton Town Hall. Especially the underhanded removal of various Tory committee chairs, who it is rumoured, would not dance to the leaders tune.

(Watch this space for the full story at a later date)

And then of course there’s the ‘gift that keeps on giving’ the tinker 'tea-pot' Taylor, who
"You should stick to local government lad!"
still wouldn't understand the meaning of the word democracy if Leonard Cohen himself galloped down Globe Lane on a white charger singing the Sweet Freedoms Song.

Mind you, there are many words that the Bard of Dukinfield doesn't understand; not all of them those that are hard to spell. Like, listening, acting on and carrying out constituents wishes, especially when it applies to the wider electorate.

Any party that has been in power for decades eventually become a byword for all that was worst in local government. But, when it’s become such a long lucrative career, with very little chance of being voted out, complacency is bound to creep in.

So, councillors, if I may borrow the words of Sting:

Every move you make.
Every vow you break.
Every smile you fake.
Every claim you stake

I'll be watching you