Last week saw the Annual Council Meeting where the Conservative administration of the city sets out its plans for the coming year, and with an increased majority in the council this will of course happen as they wish, says UKIP Cllr John Whitby.
Amongst the ‘business as usual’ announcements was one which stunned, certainly the Labour group behind me, and that was the setting up of a company to look to take on the street cleaning contract that Amey is leaving later this year.
Personally, I am extremely pleased to see this happen, and it’s something that I’ve been suggesting since the Amey issue arose 18 months ago. But my reason for suggesting this has nothing to do with political ideology, just common sense and business planning.
Simply put, if a private company can run the contract and make a profit, while paying its directors and management, then there is no reason why the council, without a board of directors to pay, or shareholders and with a layer of management that is already employed by them to manage the contract, should be able to provide the same service, at a better price.
The council could then look to provide aspects of this service to other local small councils and then make a small profit.
This I think goes some way to explain both the success, but also the difficulties, that UKIP have with the electorate, both locally and nationally. We are very difficult to put into a box and categorise. Most parties have a list of political ideologies, many handed down over decades. But UKIP don’t, we are indeed different.
I was asked a number of times where UKIP stands on various things, Nationalisation, the NHS, Education, because it seems to many that we have only one subject, Brexit, on our agenda. Nothing could be further from the truth, but the fact is that UKIP has one, very simple political ideology: Do what is right for the UK and its’ people.
That means that we would view privatisation and nationalisation in that way too. In some cases it would be right to privatise, in others, it would not. The NHS? Well, it’s a provider of a vital national service which we should retain. However, its structure is wrong, it provides services that should be only available privately and it needs to concentrate on providing a core service in health and emergency provision. It should bring back in-house many of the basic services that are now external, but some other peripheral services should be provided by others. It’s about what is right and sensible to do, and what will give the best service at a sensible cost.
But the same can be said of Brexit and UKIP’s focus there.
Quite simply, Brussels has so much control over the UK that until we are actually outside of its influence many things are simply not possible, and if you follow the news regularly, you will notice that what seems to be being touted as Leaving, is not what any right minded person could conceive as actually having left anything! Brexit will provide many opportunities and benefits for the UK, but not if it is not delivered in any realistic manner.
Our view on Brexit is well known, but it backs our single basic ideology. It’s what is right for the UK and its people.