Slay Those Dragons

The dragon roared. But nobody heard him. His roar had been downsized and his job combined with that of a beach warden from Berrow. So, nobody was listening anyway.

This week the new Unitary Council had a special scrutiny meeting to look at what ‘transformation’ might actually mean. The Lib Dems are cutting services and sacking workers to such a great extent that at the end of the process the whole council will look totally different. This is what they’re calling ‘transformation’.

But the debate opened not with a dramatic statement about what this new council might look like and how it will be better (which of course it won’t be) but a mild ‘time to slay a few dragons’ comment from a nice Lib Dem councillor from Shepton Mallet.

The officers jumped at this allegory and said ‘When we look at our services we first think -are we the right people to be delivering these services?’. And there was the green light. I asked if this meant hardly delivering ANY services at all and instead farming them out to the private sector?

I noticed that everyone had a name plate with a dragon on it. The new Somerset symbol is a dragon. We were ignoring the mightiest dragon in the room. Us. Was this all about slaying us? Actually, slaying the mighty Somerset Council?

What will remain after this process?’ a Green councillor was asking. I thought ‘Yes! St George would have had an easier time if he only had to fight the dragon’s ears.’

But it’s becoming more and more clear each day. The downsizing and transformation of Somerset Council following this cuts budget will in fact transform this dragon into a hamster. And that will be easier to fight. In fact, it won’t fight. It’ll probably just hibernate. Do hamsters hibernate? Well, that’s on next week’s scrutiny committee agenda. I’ll let you know.

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