Dithering Con-Dem coalition fiddles while Wirral burns

25th June 2010

Following last night’s Cabinet meeting. Cllr Phil Davies Deputy Leader of the Labour Group said:

Wirral's Labour Group Leader Cllr Phil Davies condemns the collaborating Con-Dems as they implement savage Tory/Liberal Government's cuts on the people of Wirral

Cllr Green is fiddling while Wirral burns. As long as he chases cheap headlines and bats all the issues into the long grass the crisis will continue to deepen. Every month that goes by without decisions increases the risk that Council workers will lose their jobs, and residents their services, not because of the financial crisis, but because the incompetence of local politicians has dramatically increased the scale of cuts necessary. He will literally have talked us into disaster.
It’s time to get real. He still has £4m to find of in year revenue savings. On current projected figures he has another £24.4m to find by March 2011 and an additional £57m to find over the following two years. On a pro rata basis that means that next year alone, amongst other things, nearly £8m has to be cut from Adult Social Services, over £6m from Children’s Services, over £2m from Cultural Services, nearly £2m from Housing and Regeneration and over two million from Technical Services (covering highway maintenance, traffic schemes, bin collections etc.)
If anyone thinks this can be achieved without affecting front line services, and without disproportionately affecting the poorest and most vulnerable members of our community, they are kidding themselves. The bad conscience suffered by Wirral’s Liberal Democrats over the national increase in VAT, which they campaigned vigorously against in the national election because it affected the poor most, will pale into insignificance when they see the real, harsh consequences locally of their own government’s decisions played out across Wirral by their own joint administration.
That’s assuming, of course, that this administration is capable of reaching any decisions in time to set a legal budget.  Jeff, it is time for you to do what Labour has done for the last 15 years. Accept the responsibility  of Leadership. YOUR government has imposed massive cuts upon us – YOU DEAL WITH THEM.” 

What did we see? No less than eight different reviews announced, all delaying any decisions. (One of those reviews actually sent back to the starting blocks, under totally unnecessary new management, an existing programme of change which would potentially have delivered up to £15m of savings towards his target!) An absurd and paralysing increase in pointless bureaucracy as he attempts to micro-manage an £865million Council budget down to the last £100. And cuts in sandwiches. Even that wasn’t costed – presumably because it saves so little that the amount would look ridiculous. This is ideology gone mad. 

“Cllr Green is way out of his depth in this crisis. It is painful to watch him dithering and floundering around trying to work out what to do. Given the scale of the financial challenge now facing the Council, courtesy of his government, we expected to see, at the least, a list of costed options for savings which would give the Council a good start towards reaching its target. 

Be Sociable, Share!

Speak Your Mind