We were amused by the article published today in NE Business. Eion Watts is a man who doesn’t understand what the annual audit is for a parish council. He and his fellow Labour councillors turned down the Barlborough Parish Council audit recently before it was submitted to the Audit Commission. He failed to understand that is was a statement of fact – even when told. It is highly unlikely that he understands the first thing about the bank bailout. Cllr Watts made an abysmal job of being Chair of Barlborough parish council, wasting thousands of pounds of taxpayers money. If you were Gordon Brown, would you listen to him? More importantly, would Gordon even know who he was? We think not, save your breath Cllr Watts.
BE BRAVE – that was the message to Gordon Brown from the leader of a community that has taken 15 years to recover from a scale of redundancies similar to that threatening Redcar if the Teesside Cast Products plant is mothballed.
Eion Watts, leader of Bolsover District Council, said the Government was in danger of making the same mistakes that the Conservative administration made during the dying days of British coal.
“Most of the pits around Bolsover closed in 1994 and it’s taken 15 years – those communities are only just starting to pick up.” Mr Watts was speaking after a meeting in Redcar on Friday of the Industrial Communities Alliance – a lobby group made up of 70 local councils representing areas laid waste by previous decisions to mothball or close pits, steelmaking and textile plants.
The group, which has already rounded up MPs to lobby in support of Government intervention – including Dennis Skinner, whose formidable reputation for snapping at the heels of ministers earned him the nickname The Beast of Bolsover – will itself hold a meeting with senior members of the Government next week.
Mr Watts defended the Prime Minister’s decision to bail out the banks, but said past experience showed that if the Government allowed TCP to fail – which threatens up to 4,000 directly related redundancies – it would consign “one or two generations of people into this black hole of joblessness – I’ve seen it”.
He called for creative thinking by government, including the possibility of setting up what he described as an arm’s length company, owned by the taxpayer, that could be sold back to current owner Corus at some point in the future.
“Gordon Brown was brave with the banks and Rover. Be brave now,” he told the PM. “Because round here, if that plants closes, future prospects for employment are pretty grim. “Take a chance and, even if you fail, people will respect you for it.” The plant, which was due to be mothballed on January 29, has been given an extra few weeks to exhaust the raw materials already on site.’