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Thursday, 11 November 2010

Menage a trois - Part 1

The much lauded proposal to combine services between RBKC and our two neighbours to the east and west, to form the Super London Borough of Royal Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and Hammersmith and Fulham (SLBRKCWH&F) throws up some interesting issues.

There can be, without a doubt some very good savings made in procurement and delivery of services, although in some cases this would be sometime down the line because existing contracts would have to be honoured. No one, for example in H&F will see RBKC refuse trucks trundling down their road for some years yet until such time the existing waste contracts at H&F expire or can be re-negotiated.

Naturally its all about cutting costs but protecting services.

Expectantly a huge swathe of middle management positions and some senior staff will see their jobs rationalised across the three boroughs so will ripe for some rich picking retirement if fortunate to be senior enough, or plain simple P45 for those lower down. In other words, there will be redundancies.

But why should the paid service of the three councils bear the brunt of the cost saving initiatives. Why stop at hitting the employees hard, and lets see some rationalisation across those elected to serve us.

If we are to have a three-way refuse collection, then why do we need three teams of councillors all attracting healthy add on allowances? If the children and family care services are to be harmonised across the three boroughs, why should each boroughs electorate cough up to pay three teams of elected councillors to turn up at the town hall to drink tea and munch on the digestives?

Crucially the three boroughs have three Chief Executives and three Council Leaders, Mssrs Greenhalgh of H&F, Barrow from Westminster and of course our own Dear Leader.

Geographically our three boroughs cut a swathe across Central/West London, and arguably share between us a good cross section of community life. Each borough is, more or less the same when it comes to dealing with everyday life issues its population experiences. One could argue while H&F has its own affluent areas, it is the poor relation of the other two simply by comparing average incomes across the boroughs, but both K&C and Westminster have in addition to its affluent areas some not so. Three boroughs but not too dissimilar issues to contend with.

If the three boroughs can converge on services and save money, then its right the councillor allowances are brought into line, and yet the disparity between the two is huge, look at this table and make up your own mind

Hammersmith and Fulham froze their allowances, whereas the Leader of K&C receives significantly more than the other two. K&C Deputy Leader receives almost the other two added together.

Lets see some real positive messages coming out of the proposed tie up and rationalise and reduce councillor allowances.

What do you think?


  1. I think its a disgrace that cockell gets that much when the other two get less. but i bet the other two round up rather than him round down

  2. i didnt vote for an increase but got one all the same so we are not all bad


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