It is that time of the year when people start thinking about Christmas and it is no different in Kidsgrove. This week the local community interest company, Go Kidsgrove met to discuss Christmas and their plans for the Christmas lights. What has to be remembered here is that Go Kidsgrove is very much made up of volunteers and local business owners who are all focused on trying to increase footfall and interest within the town of Kidsgrove.
This is all very noble, however is this not a role that the local council should be undertaking and not relying on the goodwill of the community? Let me explain why I feel like this.
It may not be that well known, but Kidsgrove Town Council is spending a considerable amount of taxpayers money employing a "Business Manager". This is a paid, full time position that comes with very much the same responsibilities and objectives as Go Kidsgrove. Surly if we have a paid individual who is taking on such a role promoting Kidsdgrove and its enterprising prospects, then the paid Business Manager needs to be given responsibility for this? Otherwise, what is the point? The council may as well make this post redundant and provide Go Kidsgrove with the equivalent wage as a donation each year and allow them to get on with the promotion of Kidsgrove?
Of course you could ask; does Kidsgrove even need a Business Manager? Remember we are talking about a fairly small town here that in most people's eyes has been allowed to decline for year, upon year. These is little evidence of the Business Manager bringing about any changes within the town, unless the increase in the number of fast food outlets in the town is an achievement to shout about? The reality is that for most residents, would question what exactly is the area getting from a Business Manager that is not being achieved from Go Kidsgrove?
Speaking of Go Kidsgrove, they are going to be looking once again to install and fund the Christmas lights in Kidsgrove. It appears that Go Kidsgrove would be liking the local community to donate to help pay for some additional lights in Kidsgrove, this year. Again, should this not really fall on the responsibility of the Business Manager and the Newcastle Borough Council? This is a council whole collects substantial business rates from organisations in Kidsgrove and should they not be the ones investing in the town to ensure that it thrives economically? After alll, more success would increase the amount that would be paid in business rates.
On this point regarding the council. I bet they are funding the Christmas lights in Newcastle, so why should Kidsgrove be any different? What frustrates me is how we have employees paid from tax payers money, doing job roles that many in the public have no idea exists. If we are going to hand out such paid positions, lets at least start making them accountable with publicly shared objectives. In my opinion, it is time this year that our Business Manager steps up and takes over the responsibility for the financing and installing of the Christmas lights in Kidsgrove - after all, what is it that we are paying for otherwise?