New District of Meltonia

GENEROUS coverage this week of an award by one taxpayer-funded organisation (“Nations and Regions East”!!) to another (Fenland Council) for conspicuous waste of taxpayers’ money (Mobile Gym).

Disappointingly little reaction to the previous week’s report of the proposed new “District of Meltonia”, which would submerge Fenland under Huntingdonshire and East Cambs. According to its proposer Cllr Melton, this would produce “major cuts in bureaucracy”, “significant savings for Council Tax payers”, “lower bills or better services…” – just like all the previous reorganisations, no doubt.

As Cllr Melton is Leader of Fenland only because he is Leader of the Conservative Group, his timing is curious. It’s his Government that’s bringing in a policy of localism – ending Whitehall control and pushing power down to local communities – and Eric Pickles has talked of the “pearl-handled revolver” he’s keeping for the first to suggest another local government reorganisation.

So if our intrepid leader is really intent on saving money, perhaps he should take time out from empire-building to shoot a few elephants. Starting with that purple-painted white elephant – the mobile gym – which seems to have taken up residence in Fenland under his leadership.

Before he does, perhaps he will tell us something about the beast: how much it cost, how many members of staff are employed to run it - and at what cost - and how many people use it each week?

Only if we understand the size of the quarry will we truly appreciate the greatness of the hunter who kills it off.


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