ARE David Hughes and Paul Swinburn quite possibly the worst leadership team Malvern Hills District Council has ever seen?
On more than one occasion they have introduced policies that their electorate did not want, so that the council could get their hands on "free handouts" from Westminster.
They have not taken into account the long-term implications of their actions on the residents of Malvern.
They have pressurised their party colleagues to follow the party line; there is no such thing as a free vote where they can think for themselves.
Like lemmings scurrying towards a cliff, they follow their leader blindly.
They have been responsible for the introduction of wheelie bins. We have been assured that this will not lead to fortnightly rubbish collections, yet the infrastructure seems to be already in place for this to happen.
They have overseen the destruction of our countryside through development on a massive scale.
In 2013 the average constituency saw work start on 183 new homes. In this year alone the council approved more than 1,000 planning applications before the end of June.
Last week under their leadership they made the first step in the loss of the council's independence. They agreed to the sharing of a chief executive with Wychavon District Council.
This is the thin end of a huge wedge that will eventually see council services moved to Pershore.
Wychavon has a much larger population and covers a greater area than Malvern, and it would appear that their leadership knows what it is doing.
David Hughes was adamant that the appointment of a joint chief executive would have no effect on council services; he is reminiscent of Captain Edward Smith of the Titanic who believed his ship was unsinkable.
There will, of course, eventually have to be redundancies within the council offices; I wonder where most of those will come? I'm sure their council officers do a fine job for Wychavon, but what local knowledge will they have of issues that concern Malvern?
Who will decide whether the presence of the chief executive is required in Pershore or in Malvern? How can they be in two places at the same time? What will happen in the event of a conflict of interest between the two councils?
David Hughes was elected to represent the people of Alfrick and Leigh, and ultimately the people of Malvern.
On more than one occasion he has chosen not to do so and taken the easy option in following the guidelines set down by Westminster to the detriment of his own electorate. We need a leadership that is prepared to speak their own mind and do what is right for the people of Malvern.