Thinking a bit more about yesterday's meeting - and the "yet another debate about finance" ... I'm fast coming to the conclusion that a classic case of what some in the trade call 'official capture' has taken place on a grand scale since May 3rd.
I mean at a local level and certainly not at a national level - the contrast could not be starker.
You can almost hear the voices of senior Council Directors ringing through the comments of the current City Council Coalition politicians ... and I can just hear the earlier debates around the senior management team table - "must keep their feet to the fire, don't let them slack off on re-aligning those damned departmental budgets" ??
And, to be fair, those 'damned departmental budgets' are indeed being re-aligned ... problem is, the whole process is being undertaken in a completely unimaginative, technocratic fashion. Politics seems to be absent; and services for the vulnerable, young and elderly seem to be suffering in the managerial process we are currently in the midst of.
And all the while, if that wasn't bad enough, there seems to be a real lack of direction on all the really big issues facing the city ... what, of significance, has happened in any of the major portfolio areas in the last six months? Again, politics seems to be absent.
All that said, maybe I'm just doomed to suffer the "yet another debate about finance" syndrome for a while yet - but come April next year, the budget thereafter will be a Coalition Budget ... assuming they do actually agree between themselves and accept the removal of significant local autonomy? ... and ducking any sense of responsibility will become increasingly harder.
Meantime, unfortunately, our competitor cities (of which there are legion) are leaving us to eat their dust ... and even more worryingly (despite being from the West myself) one of them is just 50-miles away and you can almost 'feel' the centre of economic gravity shifting their way :-((