The Big Eye: This sort of sham consultation does little for local democracy

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If you had a burning desire to help the county council plug the £12.9 million funding gap then I’m

afraid you’ve missed the boat. The deadline for your pecuniary top tips has passed, which is a pity because if anyone had tried to canvass your opinion or asked you to point them in the right direction I’m sure you’d have called.

The council decided to see what we thought because they’ve run out of ideas themselves and although they’d dressed it up as an interaction with us to make us feel involved they’re basically admitting that their stagnant well of ideas has run dry.

This “Consult the People” initiative was provoked by the discovery of a whopping hole in budgets and some bright spark thought maybe somebody out there might have conjured up a cunning plan to get their books to balance but as far as I can gather, Joe Public hasn’t magically solved their problem.

Quantitative Easing isn’t an option so it’s going to have to come down to screwing money out of your pocket. But as we know, the problem is politics!

Constantly downgrading basic services to residents invariably results in a tetchy and disgruntled electorate whose voting negativity can directly influence the party’s ability to remain in power.

So, to remain in control and keep those pay checks coming, they need to devise a scheme of financial cuts that doesn’t impact much on the people who vote.

Let’s see ... the old and infirm aren’t great voters, schoolchildren can’t vote, the disenfranchised and those on the margins of society don’t vote, and the mentally ill aren’t noted for their political tendencies either.

On the other hand, your average tax paying, community charge-paying householder is more likely to vote and consequently it makes no political sense to aggravate him. Consequently if asked if he wants them to continue with a four-year freeze on council tax he’s likely to suggest they stick to their guns.

What do they say about turkeys voting to ban Christmas?

Another series of consultation sessions is being planned in January for West Norfolk residents to ‘have their say’ and provide feedback regarding the provision of services at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

I can’t imagine what they expect we’ll say.

We’re not the experts! We employ professionals to run this service for us but in their wisdom they’ve decided to make sure we’re “fully informed and engaged”.

Believe me, it is not rocket science.

Nothing could be simpler ... send us home from hospital in a better state than we entered, answer our urgent calls in double-quick time and enable us able to see our doctors and get treated when we need it!

The county council shouldn’t need us to help with budgets and the Clinical Commissioning Group shouldn’t have to consult us on our expectations.

These people are paid handsomely to do this and if they can’t do it without constantly referring back to us then I fear we’re not employing the right people.

n Do you agree with Big Eye or want to give him a poke in the eye? Write to and tell us what you think.