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Ealing and Northfield

No good news from cabinet tonight

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.

2 replies on “No good news from cabinet tonight”

Phil

From memory the Times leader today (25 Jan) suggests that like the Third Way having having been buried quietly, so will the Big Society because no one really knows what it means. ‘No one’ includes Government Departments with a brief to implement it. And so, this leader goes on to say that Councils may well or will cut funds to external organisations such as charities on a greater scale (percentage) than on own in house departments.

I met people today from a leading charity. They are deeply demoralised by not knowing what funds they will not get.

You say the Council “are doing the opposite of what they have been asked to do by the government”.

I think it was in an earlier thread of yours that I said why don’t you get your friends to enforce their policy. It is no use government asking lamely. This it a very good example of where the Coalition shows its teeth but fails miserably to sink its teeth into the culprits.

If correct that no cost benefit analysis has been done, then why is our Chief Executive the Chief Executive? Does our Finance Director not have a duty under due process to manage our tax payer’s money with prudence? Has anyone told him about the financial crisis? Or are we to think this is another Bell balls up?

‘No respite for concil house tenants though’

i would like to know what exactly you mean by this. A 4.7% increase is nothing. The Government said it should have been more and the Council have kept rents down lower than they should. You said previously that bringing the management of council homes back in-house would double the rents for tenants. Why has this not happened? Whose side are you on? Why are you so inconsistent? Conservatives believe that council rents and all social rents should be much higher – i.e. around 80% market rent. Why are you pretending to be the champion of council house tenants? You shoud remember who voted you in and what they stand for and it isn’t for keeping council rent rises down as low as 4.7%. Why don’t you stick up for your poor voters in Northfields who are having to face higher petrol bills, food bills and probably interest rate rises on their massive mortgages? You seem to have lost track of whose side you’re on. Get a hold of your political compass or join the socialists!

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