It appears that the parties made uncosted promises to secure votes and are now faced with a big cut in the money from central Government so that they are being squeezed from both directions.
Councils are expecting the tightest settlement in 10 years and will have to make substantial savings from now until 2011, according to commentators.
I think that we will see exactly the same tensions in Scotland next week when the Scottish budget is announced, in circumstances of an even tighter settlement. I look forward with great interest to find out the circle can be squared, and what rabbits are going to be pulled out of the hat.
As I have previously said, the cuts imposed by Brown/Darling on the overall pot should have been foreseen, and the making of limitless promises just to get elected only means that you let more people down in the long run. I expect local government to get as battering, but the challenge for all political parties will be to see how they can shift the blame to others.
The challenge should, of course, be to do the best with the limited resources, not to go for cheap point scoring, but what politician can resist the obvious?