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spartacus
post Dec 25 2015, 12:15 AM
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It seems the much feared £10.8m of Govt cuts for WBC has, due to inflationary pressures, now expanded to a reported £15m of cuts/savings that have to be found in 2016/17. blink.gif blink.gif
Cuts, cuts and more cuts
WBC were supposedly already struggling to find the £10.8m fat to trim off. If it's an additional £4m from the consultation proposals that were put forward then there are going to be jobs going as well as school buses methinks.

It's odd that the highest cuts have (apparently) gone to Wokingham, West Berks and Windsor...... Did central govt base their decisions on an alphabetical list?
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Sherlock
post Dec 25 2015, 09:43 AM
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Merry Christmas to you too!

Perhaps they're hitting the Tory seats with the safest majorities hardest? Benyon could be caught enjoying carnal relations with a flock of his own sheep and he'd still be reelected, particularly given the vapourisation of the useless Libdems.

All this will hit the poorest, and least able to speak for themselves, much the hardest. Which is, of course, just how the Tories' City paymasters, who caused this economic megashambles, or at least Gave Cameron a pretext for a dogma driven frontal assault on the State, want it.

Apparently (can anyone cconfirm this?) they're phasing out revenue support grant completely before the changed rules on retaining business rates come into force. Osborne isn't a political genius, just a complete Jeremy Hunt.
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Andy Capp
post Dec 25 2015, 11:42 AM
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The Jeremy Hunts are the voters.
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Simon Kirby
post Dec 25 2015, 03:43 PM
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WBC just need to put the council tax up. I can understand why they would want to limit any increase so as not to lose the grant that depends on it, but they've just lost too much of their budget now to have any option. I don't want to see the vulnerable suffer and it is in the nature of things that most council-tax payers don't themselves benefit from the council services that they pay for, but that's what a fair humane society looks like.

Of course if WBC were to raise more council tax they wouldn't now need to mess about devolving services to the parishes, and with my council tax bill going up I'd also want to see the Town Council paring down to the bare-bones of useful public services and losing all the flummery of the fox-furred ceremonial mayor and the rest of their self-indulgent self-serving busy work.


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Blake
post Dec 25 2015, 10:41 PM
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Surely one of the best solutions would be for the council to go more commercial. Why not use council property to be rented out when they are not used, sell advertising on council buildings and vehicles? You could also fit all council buildings with solar panels to cut CO2 emissions and get an income from the feed-in tariff.
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blackdog
post Dec 26 2015, 01:50 AM
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To replace the revenue support grant WBC would have to raise Council Tax by 25% or so. I suspect that would not be too popular.

Whereas the increased income from business rates will more than replace it by 2020. One option is simple - borrow the cash and pay it back when the income stream improves.

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Simon Kirby
post Dec 26 2015, 08:24 AM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Dec 26 2015, 01:50 AM) *
To replace the revenue support grant WBC would have to raise Council Tax by 25% or so. I suspect that would not be too popular.

Whereas the increased income from business rates will more than replace it by 2020. One option is simple - borrow the cash and pay it back when the income stream improves.

Yes, that's a good option. I fear though that the recipients of local government services will be demonised so that those services to vulnerable people can be dropped without protest. Consider for example those families who through no fault of their own depend on there being a ceremonial mayor for their basic human needs and whose lives would become intolerable if they could not depend on their local council to provide them with the essentials of a fox-fur cape and pointy hat.


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On the edge
post Dec 26 2015, 02:16 PM
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The kick the vulnerable option is the classic response which is why it's crucial to ensure that money is always spent sensibly and wisely even in the good years. No one had yet managed to find the way to level the economic cycle - the borrowing option doesn't work, you end up with an even bigger mess to sort, as we found in the 1970s.

I simply can't see any logical argument for keeping any parish level Council with spending above a part time administrator and the hire of the village hall once a month. To maintain outdated office accommodation which is deemed unsuitable for local government administrative use and a duplicated paid full time administrative / executive staff, whilst the stringent cuts take place elsewhere is morally wrong.


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Simon Kirby
post Dec 26 2015, 03:25 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Dec 26 2015, 02:16 PM) *
I simply can't see any logical argument for keeping any parish level Council with spending above a part time administrator and the hire of the village hall once a month. To maintain outdated office accommodation which is deemed unsuitable for local government administrative use and a duplicated paid full time administrative / executive staff, whilst the stringent cuts take place elsewhere is morally wrong.

Absolutely right.


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On the edge
post Jan 14 2016, 05:13 PM
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At last, the latest news seems to show that austerity and local government expenditure cut backs are now history.

Hooray.

Roger Croft, the new WBC leader doesn't seem to be on message though and it has lead to a very strange headline report in today's NWN. He's even suggesting staff and further service cuts! Come on, Roger, catch up, that was yesterday.

See Page 6, all is well. At Newbury Town Council (same party, same Councillors) it's spend, spend, spend. And all for the price of a pint. I expect this represents the alcohol the NHS wants us to give up, so it's win/win.

Great to see the opposition having a lesson in the practical local politics we love in Newbury. Party Leader says they would have come up with a slightly lower budget, whilst one of his members gets into a spat trying to spend even more.

As they say, you couldn't make it up.


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