Thursday, October 25, 2012


It always strikes me as odd the excuses councils will come up with to justify lack of action on their part. Rather it's what they'll always throw up to sacrifice in respect of another service they are required to do. Take pot holes in the road...
BRITAIN’S beleaguered motorists should expect more potholes in the roads because of shrinking council budgets, the spending watchdog has warned.
A fall of nearly 30 per cent in government grants means the quality of roads will get worse, the National Audit Office said.
Town hall chiefs are having to use cash that could be used to patch up Britain’s deteriorating road network to subsidise free bus passes, analysts found.
Councils have faced nearly 55,000 claims for car damage caused by potholes in the last two years ranging from ruined
wheel rims to punctured tyres.
The average repair bill is about £132, while it costs on average only £50 to fix the road.
Councillor Peter Box at the Local Government Association said it could cost £10billion to bring roads up to scratch.
Transport Minister Norman Baker said the Government was giving £3bn for road repairs up to 2015.
Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “The state of the roads is a top concern for drivers.”
Now colour me sceptical,but it does rather strike me that local councils could offer up more than the bus pass when it comes to cutting costs elsewhere. I mean why pick on pensioners, other than for the blackmail value? I'm fairly sure there are masses of other areas which could be axed and which the public would probably not notice or mourn the passing of. I'm thinking diversity co-ordinators, various minority outreach programmes, the odd chief executive and pretty much every union rep suckling at the ratepayers teat as well.
Most people expect a basic service from the local council and their priorities are often widely at variance with the local councils. Most people want the roads (and pavements) kept in good order, the bins emptied, the grass cut and the streets lit. Yes I know councils have other statutory duties to do with health and safety too, but there is an awful lot that they get up too which is politically driven and the more left leaning the council is, the more ideologically avaricious they get in regards to dipping into our pockets. That's not to say that Tory councils can't and don't go crazy with ratepayers cash, but they tend to be exceptions rather than the rules.
We see this game played time and time again in the public services. Whenever cuts are or have to be made it's always frontline vital services, pensioner care, nurses, doctors, wards, refuse collection etc. Never management, never town twinning and the associated 'visits' or expenses and never politically correct diversity/minority junkets.
When it comes to priorities, clearly the political classes are at complete odds to the ordinary folk of this country.

2 annotations:

Bucko said...

Interesting. They can't maintain the roads because of cuts? I haven't seen any cuts to the road tax I pay, only year on year increases. Where does that go?

johnd2008 said...

My local council has published a list of cuts they propose making. After closing the Tourist information centre, the local museum and the Civic Hall, they also intend closing the only public toilets in the town centre.This from a council which depends for a lot of its income on tourism. When I need a pee in town, I shall make straight for the council offices and use their facilities, I have paid for them after all.