So Lancashire Locals, scrapped last year amid a hail of criticism have been brought back, rebranded Three Tier Forums. Parish Councils, 6 County Councillors and 6 District Councillors.
The last incarnation had exactly the same formula of personnel. So where's the difference you might ask?
Unconvincingly Tory council leader Geoff Driver hit back at criticism with a less than illuminating comment, “A blind man on a fast horse can see these are better than Lancashire Locals. It’s a win-win.”
Hardly evidential politics.
The new Forums will not be bound by a constitution on shared services we are led to believe though I accent see how this will work in practice, but will ‘share resources more effectively’. It is difficult to see this as a loose arrangement, where does responsibility lie and if the 12 districts all pursue different policies, will this lead to confusion, duplication and waste at County Hall?
That 3 pilots have been chosen is to admit that there is uncertainties in what is being proposed and highlights the fragility of thinking at County Hall. Contentious politics in Hyndburn and a vocal opposition I am sure led to the decision that Hyndburn wouldn't be one of the pilots.
Without a constitution and with the opposition having plurality it will be interesting to see if old sores are opened with the Council Leader, despite being in a minority, demanding his right to chair the meetings and steer the discussions?
All in all, a pointless policy that almost returns to the status quo of two years ago. At least local people will once again be given a local forum for LCC.