As if any right minded person is actually going to read through the council document, and of course if anyone with any modicum of power or influence is going to actually read them and then amend the budget proposals in line with any suggestion is about as fanciful as Cllr Palmer voting in favour of the abolition of S28.
Nevertheless Hornet did have a gander at the said document and it includes the usual buzzwords you could expect from the Cockellocracy Utopia we all live in.
Financial crisis. Significant reductions. Greater efficiences. Income generation. Reducing costs and so on, and so on and on and on.
Hornet can summarise this political posturing quite simply, so you dont have to read it from cover to cover. What it will mean is this...
- Cuts to administration and overheads (£4 million)
- Salary freeze and reduction of staff benefits (£1 million)
- Increase charges (£4 million)
- Reduction in funding for other services, some to zero (£1.5 million)
Now that got Hornet kind of wondering......
Yes, we all know what is happening in the world of finance today, we are not complete idiots. It is right that everyone shares the burden of the cuts that have to happen.
But how come the council can find £4 million today in reductions of administration and overheads, why couldnt they have found it last year? Or the year before? K&C may well be considered one of the best councils in London, well if it can strip £4 million in "overheads" that means it could be a whole lot better.
Salary freezes and reduction in benefits save just £1 million, and its important to keep talent working at the council. Everyone in the private and public sector are feeling the pinch, but if the talent are poached or are simply fed up with having their salaries effectively cut they could be tempted to move to the private sector with the obvious detriment effect on services.
Cuts and increase charges some may say are inevitable, and while some may be necessary you have to look at what is at stake. Some people, and these generally are not the ones who make the decisions at the town hall rely on council services. Whether thats transport to and from a clinic or day centre, a hot meal, social events, or after school clubs. If the funding for these go it makes a huge impact on the quality of life for our boroughs residents.
Single parents will have to pay for carers, or give up extra work that puts the food on the table or pays for a summer holiday once a year. Elderly people forced to while away the hours in their home rather than spend a few hours a day socialising with their friends in a day centre.
What cost is the price of a decent society?