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Tuesday, February 17, 2009
That woman over the road who monitors your family's behaviour could be given new powers to make your life a living hell, according to new local government plans announced by the Conservatives.
New proposals to take powers from central and regional government and give it to local councillors will be published today. David Cameron wants a "fundamental shift of power and money" to retired colonels, eccentric loners, people with too much time on their hands, and septuagenarian women called Marjory or Doris.
Government targets to make sure that councils actually do something productive will be replaced by mandates to give out free tea and scones, and 90% of council budgets will be expected to go towards Britain in Bloom competitions.
In addition, you can forget that modest conservatory you've been saving up to build for 2 years. What should be a routine planning application, rubber stamped by a lowly council officer, will now be turned into a 6 month internecine battle of local moral crusaders versus outsiders wanting to destroy the character of the village.
Conservative Local Government Spokesman Caroline Spelman denied that the UK's town halls would be turned into social clubs for well-off retirees who will use all the available resources to persecute people who actually work for a living.
"These plans will bring common sense back to towns and villages up and down the land. If a local dentist wants to fit new modern windows on their surgery, it's up to the local community if they want to shun them like they would shun a paedophile. If local young people are being forced to move out of an area because of a lack of affordable housing, why should the government upset Mrs Dawson at No. 73 by building a couple of new cheap homes down her street."
Councillor Keith Strange, Chairman of Hartbury Parish Council in Buckinghamshire was ecstatic at the news. Rubbing his hands with glee, he told us what he would do with the new powers.
"That bloke who lives on the corner has always given my wife the eye. I'll slap a ASBO on him and then I'll shave a few feet off his garden with a bus stop. After that, I'll dedicate the rest of the council budget to make sure nothing ever, ever changes, ever, ever, EVER!!"
"Unless I want it to of course" he added with a wink.