Sunday, January 31, 2010

A glimpse of the future....


Imagine if you will that we have fast forwarded a year - February 2011 - rather than 2010.

The BNP now control Barking and Dagenham Council but after the euphoria of the last eight months and their shock victory they are finding things tough.

With weeks to go before they present their first budget to the council assembly they are in deep trouble.

They face the second all-out strike by council workers since their victory following a succession of localised walkouts by staff in the last eight months. The main unions in the council have called their members out after a string of complaints by black and asian staff about victimisation.
Staff complaints against members of the new BNP administration have trebled and the council now has the worst industrial relations record in the country.

Since May 2010's victory there has been an exodus of staff - not just from the Town Hall and the Civic Centre but from social work, children centres and schools.

The borough is haemoraghing teachers at the rate of eight a week. And the council is finding it is unable to fill vacant positions, leading to Headteachers having to explain to pupils that certain subjects will be unavailable and fears that the borough's schools will plummet down London comprehensive school league tables because of the teaching exodus.

Despite promising before May 2010's elections to cut council tax - Richard Barnbrook's executive is finding that the council is unable to meet the pledge. After the largesse of the last Labour government, the BNP are finding that as the council now has pariah status, cash from David Cameron's government has dried up.
Three BNP councillors have resigned - two from Barnbrook's executive blaming him for failing to introduce all white policies across the board.

Following the BNP council's decision to completely axe funding to voluntary groups supporting BAME communities and their attempt to introduce a 'whites only' housing p;olicy - senior BNP councillors have been threatened with prosecution for discrimination.

The Times and Evening Standard have both run stories describing the borough 'in meltdown.'
Barking and Dagenham has just been named England's worst run borough by the Audit Commission's CAA report.

And there is talk at Westminster that the Tory government may have to intervene to run the authority as a succession of senior council officers have either refused to work with Barnbrook's executive or have taken sick leave.

The New York Times, Le Monde and newspapers across Europe have written articles about the Borough that shames Britain.

Last month Barnbrook had to put out a staff email reassuring staff that they will be paid.

Both the Police and Mayor Boris Johnson have expressed their disquiet at the rocketing rate of racial violence in the borough and have refused to commit funds for extra policing and regeneration until the BNP'clean-up their act'.

Ford have announced that they are planning to abandon the borough completely because of its worsening reputation.

Fantasy? Or a glimpse of the nightmare future that Barking and Dagenham could face if the BNP did succeed.

Maybe local people think that everything would be fine if Mr Barnbrook and Mr Bailey got their way.

Time to think again - a BNP borough would be a recipe for disaster. Services would be cut, staff would leave and in reputation terms - Barking and Dagenham would be the borough everyone - from business to government - would want to avoid.

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