Tonight’s cabinet meeting only really covers three topics but it will be nasty, brutish and short.
They will be talking about the budget again and considering another £1,437K of savings. This latest batch is dominated by savings to adult social care: a £287K cut in grants to the voluntary sector and a £1,050 saving achieved as a result of the move to personalisation. The budget report alludes to the ranger and envirocrime officers call-in, see Section 4.4, but says nothing else. Can we assume that they are going to ignore the call-in?
Their next topic is pressing on with their project to cut the health and social care grant budget by 35% and to cut the community grants budget by 30%. There has been no cost benefit analysis to see if the council gets better value for money through the voluntary sector than it does through its own directly provided services. Whilst its own services are seeing 25% reductions over three years the voluntary sector is looking at 30% and 35% in one. The council have sullenly ignored the consultation responses from the voluntary sector and are doing the opposite of what they have been asked to do by the government.
After that they are pressing on with putting up council rents 4.7%. The Tories warned tenants to watch out for big rent rises and here they come. The government’s main measure of inflation is CPI, which includes rents, and this was only 3.3% when the rent rise was set as opposed to RPI at 4.7%. The HRA paper shows £1.5 million costs of bringing the Ealing Homes people in house.
See papers here.
Update: Apparently at the meeting the cabinet put two of the rangers back in and limited grants cuts to 30% and spread them in time. No respite for council house tenants though.