I'm spitting feathers about the complete lack of warning to residents about the waste charge. This has been known as an option within the council for months [it was published in the Cabinet papers in the first week of February] and information for residents should and could have been prepared well in advance. To not let people know about it with plenty of notice is in my opinion unforgivable.
But this is not an isolated case, the lack of notice about the changes to the free bus passes is another that is fishy.
In fact there seem to be a lot of stories designed to make it awkward for the administration being generated by the council at the moment. I'm sorry but "internal processes" does not adequately explain what is going on here.
The great majority of staff are consciencious and neutral in performing their duties but there are beyond any question of doubt some staff working against the administration and deliberately causing trouble for political reasons.
It is a fact that there have been leaks of sensitive and draft internal documents to the Labour group.
Internal investigations never seem to get to the bottom of who is doing the leaking.
And this is a comment on the Reading Forum: "My mother has phoned to say she just got her letter – phoned up and cancelled – also had a go at them and was told if you don’t like it then vote them out!!" That is out of order for a public servant to say to a resident even if they personally believe it.
Then of course the Facilities Agreement allows union officials council tax funded time to work against the administration but we'll never know what they are up to because they are unaccountable to senior management. However, the sight of all of them trooping in loyally for an audience with Jo Lovelock in the Labour group room strikes me that it's pretty self-evident what they are up to.
I expect more politically sensitive council stories to come out over then next few weeks. I don't believe there is any co-incidence involved.