One of the themes I will keep coming back to when looking at the budget is that Labourâ€™s priorities are skewed. Rather than putting residents concerns at the top of their priority list they have put a weird mixture of officersâ€™ and Labour party internal priorities at the top.
Take crime. If you check out the residents survey, here, you will see that residentsâ€™ single biggest concern is â€œCrime: including anti-social behaviour and terrorismâ€. 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:
Labourâ€™s â€œdistribute any cuts as equally as possibleâ€ approach to the budget means that the Â£1 million budget for additional policing in Ealing has been cut by 25% from Â£1 million to Â£750K, see page 165 here.
Instead of providing more uniformed officers as promised Labour are significantly reducing them. This Â£1 million budget is tiny in comparison to the Â£1 billion the council spends every year. This really does demonstrate that Labourâ€™s priorities are all wrong and that they are quite happy to bin manifesto promises.