Sunday, July 24, 2011

Use it or lose it.

Seems local councils are sitting on property worth £250 billion at a cost of £100 billion to maintain, this includes golf clubs, social clubs and other bodies such as the local football teams changing rooms all of whom provide some sort of service to the public.
Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, is to release new figures showing local authorities own around £250billion-worth of property in land in Britain - which costs more than £100billion annually to maintain.
Mr Pickles wants to make surplus land available for retail companies and property developers to buy. He also wants authorities to make more money from the assets they keep.
This could lead, however, to golf clubs, social clubs and other bodies which rent or lease land from councils facing increased charges.
An initial group of around a dozen councils will be the first to reveal plans for substantial savings in a pilot project which will be "rolled out" across the country if it proves successful.
Ministers say every bit of the public sector must be seen to play its part in helping drive down the deficit. Mr Pickles's critics, however, are likely to claim the move represents another "attack" on local authorities.
 I suspect Mr Pickles critics are right, though that doesn't make what Mr Pickles is doing wrong. When most people look at waste and what councils get up too, they do not look at bin collections, street lights, road repairs, basically the useful stuff, as in the stuff that directly affects them. What they want cut if or whenever they think about it is the silly stuff, like diversity co-ordinators, translation services, bin monitors basically anything that goes out of its way to make life just a bit more miserable for the rest of us. They also cannot understand why certain groups get priority over people who have lived there for years and always paid their way.
In this, Mr Pickles resounds a chord in the working class who see themselves as having been abandoned by the left and by Labour, not because they want services cut to the bone, but because they see those services being prioritised for others. In the end they'd rather see no-one get them than just the lefts pets, after all what are they losing? Well nothing really, they've been sidelined by those who should have been in theory looking out for their interests. So when Eric Pickles announces he wants councils to make cuts, the core of support that Labour councils and the unions might have expected has evaporated and they only have themselves to blame.

2 annotations:

Pavlov's Cat said...

And yet here in Bexley they would rather cut Public Toilets, library hours, mobile libraries etc. Rather than anything that may affect their pet minorities or Fabian/ Common Purpose agenda.

supposedly it's a Conservative council

WitteringsfromWitney said...

@PC: It cannot be a Conservative council as Conservative as a political creed no longer exists!

Deep down I suspect the entire Lib/Lab/Con are Fabians in disguise!

QM: you are so right - cut the diversity/equality crap etc etc. That would surely save a few billion?