One of the themes I will keep coming back to when looking at the budget is that Labour’s priorities are skewed. Rather than putting residents concerns at the top of their priority list they have put a weird mixture of officers’ and Labour party internal priorities at the top.
Take crime. If you check out the residents survey, here, you will see that residents’ single biggest concern is “Crime: including anti-social behaviour and terrorism”. This is cited by 20% as a personal concern, top of the list with the next biggest concern being cited by 15%.
Labour are quite aware of this concern and even put crime in number one spot on their list of five key pledges in their manifesto:
Labour’s “distribute any cuts as equally as possible” approach to the budget means that the £1 million budget for additional policing in Ealing has been cut by 25% from £1 million to £750K, see page 165 here.
Instead of providing more uniformed officers as promised Labour are significantly reducing them. This £1 million budget is tiny in comparison to the £1 billion the council spends every year. This really does demonstrate that Labour’s priorities are all wrong and that they are quite happy to bin manifesto promises.