Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Budget 2015

Many of those in the in current Cabinet were elected on a promise they would 'cut the waste and not the services that people rely on'.

So presumably in 2013 they predicted no significant cuts in government funding? Now
apparently they can confidently predict the future right out to 2019 and tell us savings are needed of £196m.

Most of these 'savings' are not cuts in funding as such but simply mean that the Council takes the view that its budget should naturally rise in line with inflation even if no one else's does.
This administration, more than anyone, owes it to Cornwall to go the extra mile to minimise cuts in public services.

When a Band D householder has to find around £1500 per year for their council tax, it is not good enough for members of this Council, not all of whom pay their council tax, to argue that the rise is only the price of a bar of chocolate a week or whatever.

It is also notable that we are seeing astronomical rises in parish precepts (commonly 30% this year, even in one case, 300%, as parish and town councils struggle to take on the services that this Council has ditched).

In those circumstances, I have to question whether this Administration is as efficient as it could be.

Times may be tough but this Council is still recruiting this week for three posts at up to £78000 per year. These posts are three layers of management below the Chief Executive.

Despite the advice of the Chief Executive and other senior officers, who have said that the existing structure of 10 advisory committees is unsustainable as services and officer posts are reduced, this Council has failed to make its own democratic structures more efficient.

Oh yes, I know that public protest has resulted in the reduction of meetings held behind closed doors, but it is sheer complacency if this Council thinks that is really the best it can do.

If we are not more efficient some may question whether members of this Council have cut services but at the same time have acted to protect their own vested interests.

Can we really justify the number of committees we have, with each chairman paid £6000 for chairing, perhaps 8 meetings a year, while at the same time cutting half the library budget, all the youth services budget, all the leisure budget, even carrying out a risk assessment to decide whether those manning certain school crossing patrols may be cut, without putting children's safety at risk. The list goes on and on....

I accept that a delay in this Budget would mean more cuts. So I cannot stand in its way but, in all reasonableness, I cannot be expected to support it.

No comments:

Post a Comment