I have had a recent reason to consider some of the decisions that my local authority have made. It made me look back on a string of Dubious Decisions.
The review and thoughts have been triggered by a recent dubious decision – to hold a Christmas market in a tier 3 city.
The Christmas fair was open for less than 1 full day before it had to be closed to overcrowding and street parties. All this in a city that has been at the top of the Covid tables in the past.
The obvious question; who in their right mind would allow/organise such an event in these circumstances.
As you may expect, we have had the normal platitudes and apologies saying they are sorry. Suggesting they had no way of knowing it would be so popular. Horrified that putting a big fair in the city square would force people closer together.
Whatever the truth, whatever the thought process that led up to the event, the facts are plain. An attraction that was poorly conceived and executed attracted thousands of people. No only that, those people had less room than they should have had. This, in the midst of a global pandemic.
No matter what you think of the pandemic, or even if it is a pandemic, the rules we are asked to follow are clear. So why a Christmas fair?
So what other dubious decisions has this same authority made? There are three of very high significance.
If you look back to 2008 when the Icelandic banks were allowed to fail, it came to light that this illustrious local authority had many millions of pounds invested there.
Nottingham Express Transit
Many people think that this is a great example of a modern city. The authority that says to be a successful city, you need a tram.
My question is simple: Why?
Nottingham has two award winning bus services. These companies have, and continue to, invest heavily in high quality buses. Not only this, they make a profit.
Nottingham Express transit has proven to be unreliable and is losing millions of pounds a year. How is this a good thing? Who is paying?
Robin Hood Energy
This particular decision was ultra dubious. The authority decided to create their own energy company. They claimed they could cut consumers bills and be more efficient. It was seen as a model for others to follow.
So what happened? It went bust. Leaving people without power contracts and massive debts.
So this authority has made some shocking errors. Yet many of the people concerned are still around.
How do we prevent these events from happening again? What can the public do yo hold these people to account?
The answer is seemingly that there is nothing that we can do. The apparent incompetence remains, or so it seems. The people of the city unable to do anything.
Are errors of judgement on this scale widespread? Do other local authorities do a better job? If this is limited to this particular authority, why is there nothing we can do?
Personally, I do not know how to investigate such things. From an external point of view, it seems very much that these are Dubious decisions. Decisions that the public ultimately pay for. I for one find it very troubling that such dubious decisions happen with such frequency.