Monday, October 01, 2007

Partnership working? Its all in the name!

One of Labour's more depressing enterprises has been the emasculation of local democracy (although readers of Simon Jenkin's excellent Thatcher and Sons will know they are only the latest in something of a long line). the typical Labour response to increasing local participation has been the sidelining of elected politicians and the creation of new, unelected and unaccountable quangos. One such body is the 'Southampton Partnership'. Containing some good people, it has done some good work but in the end it is a prisoner of its own structure and organisation. Their latest proposal is to spend its SEEDA (another unelected, unaccountable QUANGO) grant on a scale model of Southampton and some posh new signs on the entry points to the city with such naff strap lines as 'The Regional Shopping Centre'. They rejected proposals for a full size model Spitfire (which was designed and built in the city) and an art mural at the Solent University.
According to the Curator, they didn't even tell the Council what they are planning to do or ask if they could display their model in the art gallery. So much for partnership working!!!


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