As a nation we are increasingly discerning purchasers of goods and services. We have become accustomed to looking at comparison websites to check the best value for money or read customer reports on the quality of the products we are looking to buy. We are regularly kept informed by suppliers of their latest product or how they’re making life better for us.
Unfortunately, the same does not apply with Sefton Council’s services.
The Labour Party’s view is “You will have what we provide. You will pay whatever we charge. We don’t measure the quality of the service we offer or how it can be improved. We certainly don’t intend to let you know what we’re planning or doing.”
Blundellsands Ward residents collectively pay over £7m to Sefton Council each year for services but we’re not told where it’s spent. The Council used to provide a chart showing how they were spending our taxes, but no more. Area Committees have been abolished but this Council has not offered an alternative means of communicating with residents. We’re not told what we’re buying, what works are planned for our area or who to contact for advice and information.
Who is spending the money we contribute? Spending decisions in Sefton are controlled by the Leader and his 8 Cabinet members, (all Labour of course), the majority representing Wards in Bootle, Netherton and Waterloo, i.e. South Sefton. This hand-picked team has no interest in Blundellsands, Crosby, Maghull or Formby. Other local Ward Councillors are allowed no influence. The Council comprises a Chief Executive plus 6 Executive Directors and 10 Heads of Service. Their job titles offer no clue as to their function or how the general public can contact them. So much for accountability.
Conservative candidates for Blundellsands Ward Martyn Barber and Simon Jamieson said: "As a purchaser of Sefton Council’s services you have a right to know where your money is being spent, who is spending it and how you are kept informed. That will not happen under Labour."