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Posted by Richard Friday, June 03, 2011


Immunity of the green brigade from "cuts" continues apace, with Conwy Council in Wales buying in a recycling officer, while cutting back elsewhere.


As core services are trimmed, this epidemic of greenery is becoming a national scandal, where local government is becoming a repository for useless mouths.


Thus do we see Enfield Council looking for a strategic individual as "Head of Sustainability", to "ensure we meet our commitments for a sustainable environment". We want to reduce our own impact on the environment and also to facilitate, encourage and bring investment into the borough, to support communities and businesses to develop sustainable futures.

Yet, on the other hand, we see frontline services such as education are to be hit. As the local newspaper reports (above), Finance cabinet member Andrew Stafford has announced the need for £6.8m of budget cuts  to be made. Funds for measures to tackle unemployment, education support, children’s services, vulnerable adults and community safety, are all to be affected. But, clearly, "saving the planet" is ring-fenced. If the planet is in danger, saving it has never been safer.  


And then, of course, there are the libraries - that favourite standby for cuts, guaranteed to get the local press interested and the protesters out in force. Just don't mention the "green jobs".

Here, one is pleased here to see the idea of the "Big Society" tested to destruction, with Conservative-controlled Oxfordshire county council replacing professional librarians with volunteers in the Boy's Witney constituency, and in the neighbouring Wantage constituency, where culture minister Ed Vaizey holds court. One wonders why this principle could not be extended to "sustainability officers", as the toilers in that particular vineyard do seem to need rather a lot of sustaining.

COMMENT: SPEECHLESS THREAD