From the TUC

Now that’s what I call chutzpah!

22 Nov 2010, by in Public services

Ladies and gentlemen, from the authority that described massive meals-on-wheels cuts as “a far more flexible and attractive meals service” we have another entry for the local government effrontery awards. Norfolk County Council is asking parish councils to take over road gritting as part of “a scheme to make services more responsive to local needs.” Apparently, it is all about the Big Society, empowering communities to “set their own priorities and standards, even if that means using unpaid volunteers.” This is such a brilliant wheeze the County is taking the same approach to grass cutting and fixing road signs – is isn’t a cut, you see, its communities “taking responsibility” for their own services.

This looks like the start of a trend: I’m offering a free TUC mug to the first person who can send me an example of cuts being described as “empowerment” of the people who’ll be losing their services.

2 Responses to Now that’s what I call chutzpah!

  1. Marion Brockie
    Nov 23rd 2010, 1:06 am

    I cannot even begin to comprehend!
    I am ready to volunteer to assist but …………………….don’t rely on me. Taxpayers pay the wages – why are the services being cut?

  2. Alexis
    Nov 23rd 2010, 9:00 am

    This isn’t a laughing matter, but I say the following tongue-in-cheek.

    Now if I remember rightly, Norwich is Delia Smith country. Perhaps part of the “empowerment” will be for parish councils to dole out free copies of her books to empower those in need of meal-and-wheels services to “provide a far more flexible and attractive meals service.” In the style of Jamie’s KItchen, kitchens setting up everywhere staffed by the unemployed on Workfare who will also be, no doubt, gritting the streets too.

    I mean no offence to Delia Smith, I love her books and will certainly be using a few of her recipes for christmas if I manage to source the ingredients cheaply. My point is simple. It’s all too often that the weak and vulnerable who are “cut” from society in times of austerity, because (call me a cynic) they are those who often do not have the energy or will to protest. Seriously though, meals on wheels are a social as well as a nutritional need for the elderly. Day centres are closing and many of these elderly folk will be left on their own for days on end. I was always brought up to respect my elders and the sad thing is that so many of them are becoming a forgotten part of society and I doubt that this Big Society ideal will have any or little effect. There are already thousands of dedicated volunteers who want to continue to volunteer, but will not be able to give the time that they want to continue to give because the venues/spending will not be available.