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> Council praise for managing budget cuts
Andy Capp
post Sep 14 2011, 06:04 PM
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It would seem the nasty Tories and silly Lib Dems are not as nasty and silly as I might think. WBC have managed to come in the top 5 LAs who have successfully mitigated the affects of the cuts!

http://www.newburytoday.co.uk/News/Article...articleID=17812
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Richard Garvie
post Sep 14 2011, 08:41 PM
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You couldn't make it up. I wonder if the survey people bothered to chat with those affected by the cuts.
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Turin Machine
post Sep 14 2011, 09:16 PM
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Or the people in other areas who are much harder hit than us, still never mind, it's still a chance to wave a red flag about a bit !


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user23
post Sep 14 2011, 09:20 PM
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There's more information here.

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Guest_xjay1337_*
post Sep 14 2011, 10:58 PM
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Interesting, if I was talking to a member of the WBC board I'd be congratulating them and saying well done!

Away from that, I'd be saying that I don't care tuppance about budget anyway. Whatever will be, will be. Nothing you I or them can do about it, so just put your feet up and enjoy some Robinsons Fruit Squash (I like the Blackcurrant one the best, orange tastes sickly).

Life is a combination of fate, luck and the general climate of whatever government you belong to.
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blackdog
post Sep 14 2011, 11:53 PM
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WBC have been rated as the 5th best authority for the effects of budget cuts on facilities for the disabled.

Top was Knowsley. An interesting fact is that WBC's overall budget was cut by 2.04%, Knowsley's was cut by 10.72% - so why are WBC below Knowsley?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/20...-cuts-data#data
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Andy Capp
post Sep 15 2011, 12:10 AM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Sep 15 2011, 12:53 AM) *
WBC have been rated as the 5th best authority for the effects of budget cuts on facilities for the disabled. Top was Knowsley. An interesting fact is that WBC's overall budget was cut by 2.04%, Knowsley's was cut by 10.72% - so why are WBC below Knowsley?

That's only half the story. One needs to factor in liabilities as well (change in how many people need looking after).
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Cognosco
post Sep 15 2011, 06:03 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Sep 15 2011, 01:10 AM) *
That's only half the story. One needs to factor in liabilities as well (change in how many people need looking after).


Always very wary of statistics! rolleyes.gif


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Simon Kirby
post Sep 15 2011, 07:14 PM
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Demos have some credibility, and if they have a political leaning it's centre-left, not tory, so without knowing the detailed methodology of the survery it's reasonable to take their measure of effective cost-cutting against preservation of front-line service in good faith.

However, I'm not sure coming fifth is any great recommendation. It means WBC did relatively well at preserving front-line services, but it also means they substantially improved the efficiency of their service delivery, and that does rather beg the question about how inefficient they were previously and why that situation was allowed to develop.


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Andy Capp
post Sep 15 2011, 07:43 PM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Sep 15 2011, 08:14 PM) *
However, I'm not sure coming fifth is any great recommendation. It means WBC did relatively well at preserving front-line services, but it also means they substantially improved the efficiency of their service delivery, and that does rather beg the question about how inefficient they were previously and why that situation was allowed to develop.

Agreed to a degree, but service provision before and after have changed. I'd agree more if it were like for like. It is also harder to justify being austere when there is money swimming around compared to when the screw is being turned. It is easier to make cuts, than it is to try and get more money from the state because you have been hyper efficient and have no 'flexibility' in the budget. Public money is based on use it or lose it.
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Simon Kirby
post Sep 15 2011, 08:20 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Sep 15 2011, 08:43 PM) *
Agreed to a degree, but service provision before and after have changed. I'd agree more if it were like for like. It is also harder to justify being austere when there is money swimming around compared to when the screw is being turned. It is easier to make cuts, than it is to try and get more money from the state because you have been hyper efficient and have no 'flexibility' in the budget. Public money is based on use it or lose it.

That's true, but this was a comparative study. All local authorities made cuts to services and budgets and in isolation it would be very difficult to say for any individual authority whether their actual efficiency improved or not, but by comparing the change in services as against cost for one council against another the survey is essnetially a relative measure of efficiency. WBC ranked highly, which means it improved its efficiency, and while that's good now I think we should understand why it wasn't as good previously, because there's been no recognition of previous inefficiency and it would be good to ensure that old habits didn't return.


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user23
post Sep 15 2011, 09:24 PM
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I notice this didn't make it on to the news section on Grumpy Old Net.
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Dodgys smarter b...
post Sep 15 2011, 09:39 PM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Sep 15 2011, 09:20 PM) *
habbits


The sad but inevitable outcome of crossing Thumper with Frodo? What on earth do you get up to on those allotments?
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blackdog
post Sep 17 2011, 02:07 AM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Sep 15 2011, 09:20 PM) *
That's true, but this was a comparative study. All local authorities made cuts to services and budgets and in isolation it would be very difficult to say for any individual authority whether their actual efficiency improved or not, but by comparing the change in services as against cost for one council against another the survey is essnetially a relative measure of efficiency. WBC ranked highly, which means it improved its efficiency, and while that's good now I think we should understand why it wasn't as good previously, because there's been no recognition of previous inefficiency and it would be good to ensure that old habits didn't return.

But WBC only ranked highly in respect of one of the service areas - disability services. No other area is covered in this 5th place ranking.

Below are the comments from the Demos survey on West Berks:

2.89 per cent budget change to disabled children and families' care and support
3.65 per cent budget change to adult care and support
-3.63 per cent budget change to older people's care and support

West Berkshire has recently closed five local day centres used by disabled people but they are using the money to give people more choice over the services and support they want by using personal budgets. Personal budgets are cash payments that can be given to disabled people who are eligible for care and support services to buy their own services, rather than have them provided by the council. The council does not deduct any money from the amount of a personal budget before giving it to the disabled person. Finally the council has said that they have not increased the cost of any disability care and support services services.
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Simon Kirby
post Sep 17 2011, 07:44 AM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Sep 17 2011, 03:07 AM) *
But WBC only ranked highly in respect of one of the service areas - disability services. No other area is covered in this 5th place ranking.

I'm saying that the survey's measure of cost reduction as against service reduction is a measure of efficiency. Are you saying it's not?


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Strafin
post Sep 17 2011, 08:09 AM
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I would say that it is not. It is only one groups opinion based on one solitary area of council spending. It is not an indicator of anything else.
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