Lifting the Lid: Inside Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Councils

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Lifting the Lid is the story of how a small group of people took on the might of local government and its party political affiliations. On a cold February night in February 1976 over one hundred Cheltenham residents who were fed up with their Borough Council met to discuss what they could do about it. The result was the formation of the People Against Bureaucracy Group. The sceptics in the community and the local press quickly wrote them off and many thought they wouldn't last a month. But thirty eight years later the People Against Bureaucracy Group are still a force in local government and founding member Les Godwin has served as a Borough Councillor since 1978. He explains how the PAB group challenged decisions that were frequently taken behind closed doors which resulted in millions of pounds being lost on the money markets, projects like The Cheltenham 'Noddy Train', and the disastrous decision to take the Managing Director of Cheltenham Borough Council to the High Court at a cost of over GBP2m to council tax payers. Drawing on his years of experience at the heart of local government, Les reveals what goes on behind the newspapers headlines.