Bolton, Tory boy Eddy and Lib Dem Kiely. Peas in a pod?
A nice example of the ‘vote Lib Dem get Tory’ administration really running the city was on view for all to see at the the Council House on Tuesday 27 March.
At the Full Council Meeting there, the Labour Party called a vote of no-confidence in Social Services cabinet member, John Kiely, over homecare privatisation. This was defeated when the Tories tactically abstained and the slim Lib Dem majority over Labour won the day. The result means the privatisation will definitely go ahead.
The Tories, who currently hold the balance of power and will continue to do so after this year’s non-event elections, pulled a similar trick over this year’s budget. They got everything they wanted from that too and are blatantly pulling the strings of this Lib Dem administration.
Joining the Tories in abstaining on the homecare vote was none other than Southville’s Green Party councillor Charlie Bolton. It might seem like a no-brainer to most people laying claim to any kind of progressive politics that privatising a service in order to cut costs by half, as the Lib Dems claim can be done, must mean a cut in the quality of the service delivered. It must also involve an assault on the terms and conditions of the low-paid, largely female homecare workers. Where else do the savings come from?
Not something Bolton’s given much thought to obviously. Although he has been agonising a bit over his daft decision on his blog between bouts of cosying-up with his new-found Lib Dem friends.
Bolton also reveals his decision to abstain was taken on the hoof. It seems prior to this meeting neither Bolton nor his party had given the homecare privatisation a moment’s thought, let alone decided their policy on it.
The Green Party experiment in Bristol is not really producing results is it? Despite their progressive-sounding posturing come election time, Bolton seems only interested in bickering with the bearded weirdoes of the Southville Labour Party, mildly encouraging council staff to turn off lights at the end of working day and siding with the Tories on important votes. Hardly the radical programme for the city we’ve been promised is it?
And let us not forget ‘The Alliance for Leeds’ where the Greens, at the first sniff of power, happily formed a pact with the Tories…