‘Unpleasent effects’ of economic cuts

It used to be said in the pre-privatisation era that you could wait for a bus a long time and then two would come along at the same time.

A bit like Tory councillors in last week’s Guardian.

David Hall in his self-congratulatory letter tells us how good he was at managing the KMC finances perhaps he should offer his services to George Osborne.

If I remember rightly when he had financial responsibility within KMC it was in the good old days when the local authorities were adequately funded from central government.

I wonder how he would get on now under the severe constraints imposed by the present Government and surely if he is so good he ought to be able to persuade all of his councillor colleagues to take his advice.

KMC on the face of it seem to have minimised the effects of the Tory-led coalition cutbacks with a minimum amount of disruption to the general public. There are certainly some unpleasant effects and no doubt further pressures in the pipeline as further cuts are imposed.

I would rather suspect that one of the reasons behind the minimisation of the effects has been a reasonable relationship and dialogue with the Trade Unions.

This brings me to Robert Light riding on his present bandwagon about the use of full-time union representatives within KMC. In view of the pressures on KMC to reduce costs at the same time as trying to preserve services the value of the representatives may be considerable in smoothing the way for reductions in staff and the introduction of new working arrangements.

So perhaps their costs represent value for money. It is more difficult to see what benefit accrues from the cost of Coun Light whose fees for 2012-13 from KMC were in the order of £23,000 which is more than many families have to live on.

The cost to the taxpayers for his vanity scheme, Birkenshaw Academy, can be measured in millions by the diversion of funds to a school which was identified as not being required by a democratic vote within KMC.


Oxford Road