Monday 19 December 2011

At last some passion from a Labour councillor

It's good to see a bit of passion at last from a Labour councillor admitting the damaging impact of Council cuts rather than repeating the usual bland assurances we get from Cllr Ann John  that we won't notice the difference.

This is what Cllr Krupesh Hirani blogged after today's Libraries Appeal judgment: LINK
No left-wing Councillor relishes making the decisions that Brent is having to make to comply with the Tory-Liberal deficit reduction plan.

Even if you believe that the cuts are necessary and that the debt should be tackled within one Parliament (The Coalition Government’s original plan A on the economy), is it fair that Brent Council has to make cuts in the region of 27-28% of our controllable budget whilst other Councils are getting more money? Brent is making a staggering £104 million cuts over the next few years. This is from a controllable budget of around £280 million. Therefore the public will expect Brent to run £280 million worth of services with around £170 million. Every cut has a cost.

Core services include streetcare, waste collection, care for the elderly and disabled, libraries, administering and facilitating a school place for every child in Brent. It is impossible for all of these to not be affected when making a £104 million worth of cuts from a £280 million budget. All of this when at the same time, demand for services is higher. As the country is struggling to overcome the economic troubles due to the banking crisis, more people are out of jobs, more people are living longer leading to an increase in demand for care services. As unemployment rises, so does crime, therefore putting more pressure on anti-social behaviour teams at Local Authorities.

How can the Brent Tory Liberals defend Brent losing out on resources while other areas are having Budget increases? I have blogged about this before LINK.

Why should Brent have to cut more than others? If Brent Tory Liberal Councillors do blame Labour for creating the deficit as they have done at and the Coalition Government are holier than thou, are they still defending the level of cuts to Brent compared to others and supporting the damage made to Brent while other Councils are being given more money?
This contrasts with the Labour leaflets for the Wembley Central by-election which, so far, have not mentioned the cuts the Council has had to make.

Recognition that they are damaging, if not devastating, for the local community is the first step to mounting a campaign alongside residents and activists against the reductions in local authority budgets and the Coalition's aim to reduce local government.

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