Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Insights into the workings of SLDC

"We have had instruction to have these pots taken down. So we have taken it upon ourselves to come here and do this ourselves"
These are the words of Jim Maguire accompanied by Deborah Wright, both officers within SLDC which is ruled by the chief executive Lawrence Conway. They are clearly upset with having been made to do something they totally disagree with: take the pottery away from Mill Dam Park : pottery they were admiring only five days before because it made the park feel so friendly to everyone that went in it. They told me as an interested party so that other people would know that they are really caring people; so that others know what they are really like.

Because they are clearly not supportive of this information being published, Conway cannot take them to task for it being displayed here.

It is very rare to get insights like this of how officers really feel because any leak to the outside world is seen as disloyal and punishable. Because our councillors also kept from knowing unless they really try then we the public are unable to ever get to know what really happens behind the scenes.

At the moment I have deep suspicions that cover ups, incompetence and even perks that sway officers in favour of Big Business are taking place in both the Planning Department and in the Cumbria County Council's Highways department and we have no way of finding out without resorting to expensive legal cases. How then can we the public have faith in local government and ultimately our political system which at every turn in the responsible media is revealing dishonesty and behaviour that we are not happy with. The common retort is - "It's nothing new" and "Well it's been going on since the year dot."

The reason revelations are taking place is that we the public are being encouraged by the media to be enraged. Previously we were happy to look the other way because "We were all right Jack". Now most of us are feeling the pinch so that we're being far more critical of the systems around us.

Insights like this help us feel far more sympathetic to the officers and the pressures they work under. No wonder many/most? of them find it difficult to cope with their jobs.

There are all the signs at this moment that Deborah Wright is doing all she can to work for the benefit of the local public, but she is being instructed to refrain from sharing information with the the public. Hence the lack of information on what is happening in Mill Dam Park at the moment.

What I say is Mr Conway, grow up, stop breathing down you employees necks and start managing your team in a way they enjoy their jobs and are left to do them as they have been educated to do and thus feel is appropriate.

I doubt that Mr Conway can change, so is it not time to replace him with someone who practises modern business relationships as used by for instance, the Dalton firm Wax Lyrical where employees are full of praise for the way their company is run by Mr Armitage and enjoy going to work each Monday morning.

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