By George Gunby
There is a quote attributed to a French man who lived around two hundred years ago. To slightly paraphrase it, “people get the government they deserve”. Originally it was about a nation but it could apply just as easily to local government. After all most of us complain about our local council. Yet, when the elections come around most of the electorate don’t bother to vote. We regularly read and hear that Belper is a “coming place” and that it is bucking national trends. The town has reinvented itself once again, attracting thousands of visitors to its cinema, pubs, cafes and restaurants. The many events staged throughout the year attract visitors from all over the country. The Belper Food Fair attracts thousands. Winning Belper In Bloom has given the town a higher profile. It’s not perfect, nowhere is, but I’m regularly told that it’s a great place to live and a good place to visit. I hope the parties concerned take the following in the good spirit that is meant. A lot of excellent work is in danger of being nullified by the issues on the town councillors, I feel. You may or may not be aware of the dispute between the Mayor and other members of the council. According to the report in the Belper News ( January 8, 2014) some semblance of order has been restored which is not before time. Having said that I am sure that events will take further twists during the coming weeks. Somebody said to me that the dispute reflects badly on Belper. I can’t agree with that. Like Ian Jackson (Letters January 1, 2014), I think it reflects badly on our town councillors. From the outside the behaviour of all parties looks childish and petty. I dare say that the town councillors have a different perspective. Without having all the facts it’s difficult to know. So, back to our French quote. “People get the government they deserve”. Do the people of Belper deserve the local government we have at the moment? No they don’t, I feel The situation needs sorting out sooner rather than later. If the town councillors don’t Belper might just get the government it deserves at the election in 2015.