Monday, April 18, 2011

Well there's a surprise....not.

Seems all is not as it seems in the local government budgets of some local councils, most notably the Labour ones if you believe what's currently coming out in reports. I'm minded to take them with a pinch of salt though as it's election time, though it wouldn't surprise me one bit if true.

CASH-RICH Labour-controlled councils are cutting local services while sitting on reserves of billions of pounds, it was claimed last night.
They are stockpiling unused reserves yet continue to slash budgets for facilities such as nurseries, libraries and street cleaning.
New research by the Conservative Party highlighted those most reluctant to dip into their “rainy day funds”.
They include Manchester Council, said to have reserves of £95.2million while cutting libraries and street cleaning, and Southwark Council in London, said to be sitting on £86.8million.
The Conservatives said Liverpool Council was cutting nurseries, libraries and leisure centres while increasing reserves to £121.7million and Nottingham Council was reducing highway maintenance while sitting on funds allegedly worth £50.7million.
Also mentioned was Camden Council in London, which the Tories claim has reserves of £84.3million.
Local Government Minister Grant Shapps said: “It is totally unacceptable for Labour councils to make political cuts while sitting on cash reserves of billions of pounds. Sensible financial planning is about putting cash away when the sun is shining so you have some cover during the rainy days.
“These reserves exist to ensure councils can react to unforeseen situations like clearing up the economic mess left by Labour."
And he's right if these figures are true, though most of us in the real world would wonder at why any frontline (read useful) services are being cut unless of course it is a political gesture of spite designed to make the government look bad. After all why close nurseries, libraries, street cleaning, leisure centres and highway maintenance whilst leaving other less useful services (diversity and racial co-ordinators, middle management, administrators etc.) alone?
The whole thing has an air of tit for tat here, government says make cuts to your budgets, local councils deliberately go for services that get headlines so they can portray the government as total bastards, government retaliates saying the councils are sitting on and increasing their contingency funds so aren't short of money for essentials and so on. The whole thing is a game to them and the only ones suffering are us the common people who lose the services and jobs because of this pathetic political point scoring.
I keep thinking it's time someone stepped in and set limitations on exactly what it is local government can and can't do, but to do that we'd have to leave the EU first so much of their regulations are responsible for the mess at local and national level.
Then I look at the the three main parties and know at the moment that's just a pipe dream...

1 annotations:

WitteringsfromWitney said...

It is unbelievable is it not QM?

"Then I look at the the three main parties and know at the moment that's just a pipe dream..."

Well, there's always UKIP.....At least they do have a plan.........