The Chief Executive of Gloucestershire County Council, Mr Bungard, has appeared in a piece featured in the BBC News today where he talks about the cuts GCC are implementing. Rather bizarrely he states,
It has been a really tough year but we have actually stayed on track, I think we have done it through flexibility, listening a lot, not believing we knew everything at the start and we were prepared to find different ways
We are left wondering whether he has spent the last year asleep!!!?? GCC certainly weren’t listening to the electorate who signed a 16,000 strong petition against the devastating and disproportionate library cuts (the 2nd largest campaign this county has ever seen). They weren’t listening when Gloucestershire residents warned GCC that they were in breach of the law and were walking the county into a costly court case. They did not listen to the overwhelming negative response they received during the consultation process. If they had behaved as Mr Bungard seems to think they did then the last year would have been very different.
“Flexibility“?, the council certainly cannot claim to be “flexible” as they arrogantly and stubbornly bulldozed through deeply unpopular plans. Contrary to Mr Bungards claims, they did, and still do, behave like they know everything as is evident in their remarkably-similar-to-the-old-plans “new” library closure and cuts plans they have recently announced, following the complete quashing of their previous plans in the High Court.
Mr Bungard seems remarkably self-congratulatory for someone who is part of an authority that was ruled to be guilty of “bad government” and a “substantive breach” of the law not six months ago by a high court judge.
I, for one, sent Mr Bungard several letters last year detailing my concerns about the county council’s approach and I am yet to receive a single answer. That is not listening Mr Bungard.