This week you will have received your November edition of Around Ealing. This is paid for by our council taxes and is prepared by council officers so it is required to be factual and non-political but it has strayed this month.
In Cllr Bell leaderâ€™s column he says:
For some time we have been planning to reduce our annual spending by Â£53 million (equivalent of 25%) by April 2014.
This is nonsense. Last year the council spent Â£1,031 million on the revenue side and Â£151 million on the capital side. Its Â£53 million savings target is only 4.5% of that. Â£53 million is 25% of the councilâ€™s government grant not the councilâ€™s total spending or budget. The council raises significant sums from council tax and fee and charges so its government grant is an important source of funds but only one.
Cllr Bell is trashing his own already poor reputation for understanding financial issues.
You might expect Cllr Bell to spout nonsense when he writes opinion pieces for the local papers but the council officers are required by law to keep him in check when he writes in Around Ealing. This time they have failed.