Uttlesford Strife? Taxpayers fund political messages…

How do Gnomies? Here I was this week, busy wrapping presents and sampling the best local mince pies, when the latest edition of UDC’s glossy ‘Uttlesford Life’ rattled through the shed letterbox. After a small distribution argument (seems sheds are often left off the circulation list) I was quite happy to have a mug of something mulled and ponder Life in Uttlesford.

Uttlesford Life 2016

 

This magazine is funded by the tax payer through our local council taxes and should not be party political. Of course the controlling party can control the message and so everything looks very Rolfy-rosy, but it ain’t a platform on which to campaign!

However, imagine my surprise to see a full page spread from the new Conservative Police & Crime Commissioner! Yes Gnomies, that chap who recently cancelled a local meeting in the same week that Essex Police admitted that they didn’t have the capacity to investigate ‘low level’ crime. I don’t care what level it is Gnomies, crime be crime. There have been so many locals shed, garage and van break ins in the past couple of weeks, seems to me locals are fed up of being ignored!

 

 

So these glossy-magazine shenanigans begs a few questions that I think our local councillors should ask:

1. Why was a political appointee given a full page spread in this taxpayer funded magazine? Report on crime, yes. Respond to crime, yes please. Market how fabulous you ain’t, no thanks mate.
2. Are public funds being used to fund a Party Political message in the run up to the local elections next year – or did the PCC pay for the space at market rates to subsidise Uttlesford Life for the taxpayer? Easy fix that one, just let us know if he paid! I keep my receipts in a biscuit tin next to my trowel collection, shouldn’t be hard to find.
3. If he didn’t pay, why was he selected as a festive feature over the other areas that come from our council tax bill, such as ECC, Fire Service or Town and Parish Councils? For example ECC takes over 70% of our local taxes. So why wouldn’t they be given first dibs if they were giving the space away? Obviously I think greater column space for local allotment holders with tips for getting your shrubs through winter…

Uttlesford Life 2016

My assumption is that they gave the space to him as a political service. If this is the case then it is a misappropriation of taxpayer funds for party political use. The value of this would be reasonable to work out. What is the cost of a full page spread in the local paper x the distribution each of Uttlesford Life (~40-50k households). Hang on while I get my note pad and pencil…

Arfur Gnome has recently recovered from a hip replacement and is back on the allotment, campaigning for the muddier residents of Uttlesford…

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