Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Council cut-backs

Predictably, I suppose, the 'usual suspects' have now started to target council meetings, with their banners and placards as usual, protesting about council spending cuts. Students featured heavily, among the masses trying to get what turned out to be around a hundred bods into the meeting.

Actually, some councils make provision for such numbers routinely (I have been checking with my contacts who either are or have been councillors)

Of course all this is politically-motivated, even if some (many?) of the protesters don't realise that they are merely pawns in someone else's game. The two recent Westminster protest rallies were much the same. No matter...

This past evening's such event was at Lewisham council, of all places (a Labour inner London heartland) who are planning to make cuts of some £60 million over the next three years.

That's a lot of cutting back, even at £20 million per year!

Admittedly, the Labour-run London boroughs are among the most profligate areas in the country, and there will be plenty of scope for cutting out waste; but this appears to have been an attempt to use this necessity instead as a stick to beat the coalition national government by cutting actual services, not the waste.

I don't have the details here yet, so cannot be specific; but I might try to get hold of the documents that were being tabled at the Lewisham meeting and make my own evaluation. It depends how tomorrow goes.

Whatever the exact details are for Lewisham, the overarching principle remains: this is an opportunity for councils to eliminate huge amounts of waste that were imposed upon them by the previous Labour government, and revert to the kind of council structure that generally worked so very much better before those thirteen years.

Yes, it will be updated here and there, but such a structure can again become user-focussed rather than remote centralised ideology-driven - e.g. "climate change" and "diversity" sections and staff can go, as can form-fillers for the now-unnecessary central government statistics. There are plenty of others. That's people's money being wasted on such non-jobs (or nonsense jobs, perhaps) and the waste of billions every year needs to stop.

Now, if only these students and other apparent dimwits were to learn how and why things work, perhaps they'd understand enough to let the necessary reforms go ahead as they should. Well, we've been here before, some thirty years ago, so no doubt the current government will handle all this and do the job regardless, just as Mrs Thatcher did in the 1980s.

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