Few raised an eyebrow a fortnight ago when the Local Ombudsman criticised the York Council for putting a family into what was too small a property to meet their needs. The local Labour MP had joined in the condemnation earlier in the year but the Council refused to rethink their action. Eventually the Council was forced to admit its error. No one was really surprised when, rather than the Cabinet member for Housing accepting any responsibility, a junior officer was rolled out to face the media backlash.
Similarly today we learn that the housing waiting list has increased by 50% since Labour took control of the local Council. Apparently it’s the fault of landlords. No blame can be attached to Labours decision not to seek funding for the construction of more Council houses then.
More difficult to wriggle on was the responsibility for the Gunpowder “Plod” debacle.
In August the Cabinet member for Leisure glowed in the local media as she launched the event. “We pledged last year that York would commemorate November 5, 2012, in style”. “We’ve been working hard with partners to ensure this happens” she trilled as she posed for photos with the Rat Race team.
So enthusiastic was she to be associated with the event that her photo appeared for 3 months on the Plod web site.
With friends like James Alexander around you are guaranteed a bit of mutual backslapping on social media sites like “Twitter”.
James Alexander click to enlarge
So on 3rd November he proudly announced that Cllr Crisp was responsible for bringing both “Plod” and an event called “Kaboom” which was held in Rawcliffe Country Park, to the City.
Early on 5th November, Cllr Crisp responded with enthusiasm. “fun, fireworks, frolics and festivities” she tweeted as she settled down to enjoy the Knavesmire “spectacle”.
Sonja Crisp click to enlarge
By 10:05 she was labelling Kaboom and Plod as both “fantastic”
At 11;22pm she tweeted to anyone still awake that “she hadn’t heard the booing”
On 6th November the story had changed. Bitter disappointment was surfacing in the media with hundreds complaining. Cllr Crisp responded by tweeting “It was not a Council organised event”.
Perhaps she should have been more discrete. She’d had some practice.
The previous week the Mayor of Blackpool (really) had launched the Blunderland light show in York’s Museum Gardens.
Cllr Crisp worked out that this might seem strange to many residents and tried to do a runner.
Unfortunately the photographer (see above) got there before she could exit stage right!