Blame the bureaucrats for this bridge debacle

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From: William Dixon Smith, Welland Rise, Acomb, York.

whatever trials the residents of York are required to endure, council officers pass through unscathed. One might suppose their function was merely to execute the commands of whatever political party is voted into power. It is a convenient fiction, in which both officers and councillors are complicit. All the blame for the Lendal Bridge debacle is heaped onto blundering Labour councillors, while officers are exonerated by implication.

It seems forgotten that even though the Lendal Bridge report was produced at the behest of Councillor Dave Merrett, the authors were officers. Tragically, councillors were so busy practising politics that mundane civic matters were put aside. The report was accepted without critical scrutiny.

You might think this self-inflicted credulity would waver at the example of our legal experts getting in a tangle, but no: councillors shrugged submissively while the CEO proposed to squander more public money on imported legal wizardry.

Councillors should do more more than place unquestioning faith in officers, and willing to take “bold decisions” on their advice. So who will run York after the next election? Not those we elect, that’s for sure.