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A transport of delightful arrogance...
8:47am Thursday 31st October 2013 in Our View
It is really difficult to fathom the comments of Councillor Val Slater, Bradford Council’s executive member for transport, when she complains about new Government legislation which would force authorities who want to increase Council Tax by more than two per cent to hold a referendum.
She and her colleagues in West Yorkshire fear that the new law, which cleared its second reading in the Commons this week, would hamper their plans to create a £1 billion pot for investment in a 10-year plan to overhaul transport links across the county.
And the reason for their fears? As well as the cost of a referendum, the public, she says, might not give this plan the support it needs.
“It’s not always easy for the lay man to understand the long-term benefits from putting money into a transport scheme like this....” she says which, contrary to her intentions, eloquently makes the perfect case FOR a referendum.
If she fears the public will vote against the Council Tax levy, then it’s the Council’s job to make the case for it. If they fail to do so, then the public will have exercised their democratic right to instruct their elected representatives in how they want them to behave with their money.
Whatever one might think about the rights or wrongs of a regional transport fund, it is shamefully arrogant and patronising to suggest that councillors know best and that their constituents are not clever enough to understand their plans.