Local authorities must submit to robust scrutiny says Communities Secretary

… conveniently forgetting that it has always been his job to ensure that this happens!

“Local government needs to open up and raise its game, Sajid Javid has told the Local Government Association’s annual conference.

Delivering a keynote address to the gathering in Birmingham yesterday, Javid highlighted the “serious failings” that emerged in the aftermath of the Grenfell tower fire in west London and said he wanted to reflect on what had gone wrong in local government.

“If the events of the past few weeks have taught us anything, it’s that we have to raise our game,” he said. “The ties that bind local government to local communities have not snapped. But if we don’t act now, such a time may one day be upon us.”

Councils would not be able to rebuild and reinforce trust with local communities if they hid away from public scrutiny.

“If people are going to trust their elected representatives, they have to see them working in the harsh light of the public eye, not in comforting shadows behind closed doors.

“Not only must democracy exist, it must be seen to exist. It can’t be about decisions made in private meeting rooms… local government must show it is for the people – not just of the people.” …”

Words – so much easier than action, as we well know in East Devon.

One thought on “Local authorities must submit to robust scrutiny says Communities Secretary

  1. These are the TWO reasons that the Tories retain power:

    1. Hindsight – we would of course prefer foresight, but the Tories are experts at closing the door after the building has burned down, and by focussing on future prevention they avoid accountability for past mistakes which would have prevented these tragedies. In the case of Grenfell House, by having a Public Inquiry, the scope of which is set by the government to focus on prevention, instead of an Inquest which is also focused on establishing the causes, the government has already prevented any criticism into their actions or inactions which may have allowed this to happen.

    2. Forgetfulness – how quickly most of us forget that Grenfell House is only the latest of these disasters that were both preventable and caused by mistakes by those in authority, Ironically, it has taken over 20 years, since Margaret Thatcher was PM, for the Hillsborough cover-up to finally be acknowledged, way too late for real justice to be served – and just as the saga of that cover-up reaches an end, the saga of the next one begins.

    So, by the time we get to the next General Election, the Tories will crow about how they have made tower blocks safer, conveniently forgetting to mention that it was their sitting on the recommendations of the inquest into the previous tower fire and their “bonfire of the red-tape” that led to this tragedy in the first place – and swathes of the electorate will believe them and vote Tory again.

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