Jobsworth Jan 2016

Jobsworth Jan 2016

Jobsworth Jan 2016

First Published 01 January 2016

No trimmings – It’s every man for himself in Kerrydale

Christmas is officially cancelled. Our dear leader apparently believes it would be insensitive for council staff to be seen carousing at a time when so many people in Kerrydale’s private sector are losing their jobs.

Personally I think he leapt on the recession as an excuse to avoid the kind of headlines seen after the bash at Scruples last year. Of course, no proof was ever produced about the lewd behaviour of our then deputy chief executive, Martin Grainger, but I still wince even now when I remember that picture of him in a short Roman toga.

So this year there will be no fancy dress, no excessive drinking, no hanky-panky, not much of anything in fact. We had a dismal planning team lunch at The Golden Hart (over-cooked chicken washed down with warm white wine) and it was all I could do to put on my party hat and read out the joke in my cracker.

The pity is that this year for once we actually have the time to party. There are no major developments for me to champion any more and with the core strategy almost out of the way (‘Kerrydale into the 21st century’ -perhaps the 1990s would be a start!) there isn’t much for me to practise my well-honed work avoidance techniques on. That’s when a horrible thought strikes me. I’ve heard the rumours about the new cut-backs. When it came to the cull this time last year I was too important to be affected. Nobody wanted to mess with Kerrydale’s housing delivery champion.

If there’s one thing stronger than the Baggott work-avoidance instinct, it’s the Baggott survival instinct. For the first time in my career, other than by mistake, I find myself volunteering for things. Are we certain that ‘Kerrydale into the 21st century’ is consistent with our branding, I hear myself asking uselessly. And how does it dovetail with the city region’s strategy on sustainable development? Can I stoop any lower?

Neil Baggott, FHTPS