Eric Pickles: "Luvvies" complain about library closures
We have a detailed interview with Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles lined up for Thursday's Post, in which he insists local authorities - and not the Government - are to blame for cutting services.
But he was also on outspoken form in the Commons on Monday when he was questioned by a Midland MP, as Hansard records:
Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central) (Lab): In towns and cities across England, local authorities are being forced to close museums, shut care homes and end library provision, but the Government found £250 million to empty the bins more regularly. What kind of abysmal, philistine, reactionary Government put dustbins above library books?
Mr Pickles: The people who are putting dustbins above those things are people who care about the general service provided to the electorate. The hon. Gentleman is a bit of a luvvie, so no doubt he is looking intensely at the drop in culture, but that is a matter for local decision, and he is wholly wrong. People should look at how an authority can get more money in by exploiting and using its cultural heritage. Frankly, he is just lining up a bunch of luvvies. He should listen a little bit more.