Yep, arguably the most incompetent council leader in the country, Gloucestershire’s Mark Hawthorne, is set to cost taxpayers thousands due to his complete contempt for local library campaigners. Earlier today, it was revealed that the Hight Court has issued an injunction against Gloucestershire County Council, preventing library closures until the review on the 7th July. This is great news for local campaigners, and very bad news for Hawthorne, which perhaps explains his weird rant on the BBC website:
“This is very frustrating for council taxpayers and community groups.
“They are being forced into a costly legal process at a time when 20 communities have stepped forward with innovative and exciting business plans to take over their local facility.”
Yes, it is costly and frustrating for taxpayers Mark. Which begs the question, why did your council embark on a disgraceful consultation that took little notice of the needs and requirements of the local community? To think, the people of Gloucestershire will suffer purely because of your utter incompetence. This could have been easily avoided if you had just listened to the people of Gloucestershire. You chose not to, and these are the consequences. Why is it Conservatives argue for individual responsibility and yet absolve themselves of all responsibility when their incompetence is found out? It is a puzzle.
Still, at least we can rely on the local press to really scrutinise Hawthorne and get to the heart of this mess. But then, the local press do not exactly have a great record for holding Hawthorne or GCC to account. The Gloucestershire Echo’s ‘outrage’ over the Downfall/public libraries mash-up (the paper claimed that it was comparing library closures to the Holocaust – much to Hawthorne’s delight no doubt) was eventually found to have breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editor’s Code of Practice. Of course, there is no doubt whatsoever that the same newspaper will take an objective view of recent developments and in no way will act as a mouthpiece for the county council. No wonder the people of Gloucestershire despair. Let’s hope this leads to some very welcome good news and, just maybe, the resignation of Britain’s most incompetent council leader.