Sunday, June 17, 2007

Eight Days

Labour's Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly and the Norwich Conservatives do agree on one thing - that the City Council's Unitary Bid is financially risky and could do damage to services such as education and social services, which are currently provided by the 4-star rated Norfolk County Council.

Well, we did last March anyway.

Just eight days after Ms Kelly wrote to DPM Prescott warning about the dangers of these City unitary bids, she then put the Norwich bid straight onto the Unitary bid shortlist - despite the misgivings she held just a week previously.

The question this leaves everyone involved is ... why?

Well if you ask me there is something seriously dodgy going on here. Labour Ms Kelly has been heavily lobbied by the Labour City Council and you have to wonder how she dealt with this.

Did Norwich Labour manage to persuade their Labour colleague to put the bid, no matter how weak (it was, remember 16th out of 17 according to the league table) on the shortlist because they knew they would be politically savaged if it fell at the first hurdle?

Kelly, probably annoyed by this political stalking, may well have thrown her hands in the air, stuck the City on the list and done so in the sure and certain knowledge it would fail anyway. Why break Steve's heart at the outset?

Whatever the truth, and we may never know, the fact is that in just eight short days the Secretary of State did a 180-degree turn.

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