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DAMESATHOME@YAHOO.CO.UK
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Monday, 20 December 2010

Cuts to the right of me...

Merrick Cockell Leader of the council, said: "We are facing some very lean years. Savings will have to be made"

Now we all know that the Leader is not exactly a high flying successful businessman in the private world. After all, his import/ export business located in the bowels of the Tory Office was reputed never to have made a profit, even though flogging ciggies to Africa should be a 'no brainer.'

But surely he must have seen the financial firestorm heading his way over two years ago? The CEO of a public company proves his metal by foresight. He does not react in panic and adopt a 'slash and burn' strategy, as this Council is doing.

Neither does he go and lavish tens of millions of pounds on the quite unnecessary paving, using imported Chinese granite, of Exhibition Road at a time when the Borough's road system is a disgrace and our quarrying industry on it's knees. 

Nor subsidising the loss making Holland Park Opera when teachers are being axed. Or allowing the new Holland Park Schools to incur massive cost overruns...to name just a few cockell-ups.

But worst of all is the personal example of he and colleagues. Not only do they take out 40% more than neighbouring Borough councillors but they lack the common sense or good taste to offer to reduce their grossly inflated allowances by a mere 25%. That alone will still see them by and large outstrip their neighbours on the allowance stakes.

Sir Merrick, such action is called leading by example. But of course, we forget that just a couple of years ago when the meltdown started you still felt it to be OK gorging yourself on $200 dinners for 2 at the luxurious Four Seasons and First Class air travel to US cities. What was your dinners guest name again?

What is even more outrageous is that the expense rules have now been changed so that these NYC claims Cllr Cockell creamed off the taxpayer then, will not be allowed now! Hornet has learned that a local wag suggested that in light of that, and how MPs were busy repaying their expenses, Cllr Cockell donate a sum equal to the now outlawed expenses to Help for Heroes, the Mayors charity. 

Needless to say his suggestion has gone unanswered.


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