IN a national newspaper your report on the condemnation of a council by its staff would have been considered a scoop.
I doubt that staff at other councils would have had the courage to publicly expose a council as the staff at North Devon District Council have done. Decisions are apparently politically motivated and designed to ensure councillors get re-elected for their own selfish gains. Strong words indeed!
In 1972 allowances for councillors were introduced and the mercenaries began to arrive, eager to jump on the gravy train which has subsequently cost local taxpayers millions of pounds.
The train stops every four years so that those councillors fed up with wielding their rubber stamps can get off. Very few do so, willingly at least.
In the days before the gravy train, there was another train in Barnstaple (to continue the railway metaphor) crewed by the mayor, six aldermen and councillors, 24 in all.
This train I shall name Civic Pride and it ran for many years without having to be greased by any sort of gravy.
The passengers who were the people of Barnstaple were more content with the service they received than they are now, perhaps because they were aware that the councillors were serving the people not themselves.