|White rage and fat foxes|
By Emma Dent Coad
Having spent far too many hours poring over the Council’s budget proposals provokes such a depth and breadth of outrage that it becomes almost too much to bear. Rage turns from red to white, hot fury to cold purpose.
Having been told that no older person would be turfed out of their home in the ‘Royal’ borough due to government caps and cuts, an 82 year old woman received an eviction notice. Having been told that no vulnerable families would be housed away from their support networks, we had to fight for a young single Mum with a disabled baby to be moved back from East London to be within striking distance of medical specialists and family. Having been told that school students approaching exams would not be decanted, we heard that one borough primary school is to lose 50% of its children due to the effects of LHA cuts. Likewise mental health, adult social care, youth services, nursery care are all to be decimated.
The sheer scale and apparent vindictiveness against decent honest people whose neighbourhoods have changed around them due to property speculation encouraged by the Council, is simply gobsmacking.
The same politicians, national and local, who talk about the injustice of families being helped with funds they haven’t earned and perceived ‘culture of entitlement’, were often born into wealthy (perhaps, ironically ‘en’-titled) families who inherited money, property, and then bought the kind of education that provides an overweening arrogance to match.
Not all, by any means, there are some notable exceptions and long may they prevail along with their own sense of moral indignation and social conscience.
Our government, and our Council, are betraying the very people from whom they demand respect and obeisance. £23m spent on a potentially lethal paving scheme in South Kensington is not a triumph when residents in North Kensington’s Golborne Ward are now joint poorest in London with a ward in Haringey. Spending on a sorely needed secondary school in North Kensington is hugely welcome but also hugely overdue; we can afford it and could have for many years. Other high-profile capital projects may be good news in themselves, but tempered with cuts so brutal it is unimaginable when funds are still available.
Meanwhile, rubbish is piling up in North Kensington as street cleansing is cut, and our foxes are getting fat. Urban foxes used to be skinny and mangy; no more. Our foxes now are fat and sleek, and prospering while others decline. A very sad sign of the times.
Emma Dent Coad is a Labour Councillor for the Golborne Ward. She has her own blog at http://emmadentcoad.blogspot.com