I have just been passed the secret list of budget cuts to be introduced by the Comhairle with effect from tomorrow, and implemented without the opportunity for discussion, debate or decision by the Councillors. I hope that the outrageous nature of the cuts will encourage the Councillors to take control of the budget and demand the immediate reversal of all these cuts.
- The Registrars in Barra and Uist are to be closed, and all weddings will take place by video conference from Stornoway. A menu system will allow the selection of religious, secular or humanist wedding and the type of blessing.
- Civil partnerships will continue to be dealt with by the Rockall outreach office - personal applicants only.
- The new causeways in Uist to be single direction only. North to South on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; South to North on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. No travel on Sunday, except unrestricted Church travel - by order of the Free Church.
- 100% rates relief extended to windfarms, but removed from MWT from organisations.
- Nicolson Institute to be bulldozed in 2010 and rebuilt on a
site on the new Greenfield Ness-Tolsta Road, and renamed the Amec/RSPB Institute. All secondary schools to be closed and pupils to live in a new accommodation block sleeping 1,000.
- Former school sites to be sold off to windfarm developers and the proceeds reinvested into paying for single status.
- The number of Councillors to be reduced by 95% after the next election, leaving only two wards:
and Carloway. All other votes will be on the STV basis – that is to say, the election will be decided on the basis of which Councillor appears on STV most. Newton
- Capital projects to be delivered on time and on budget by Council departments (this is a blue-sky saving, and unlikely to happen)
Social work to work within budget.
- In order to improve efficiency, all council documents are to be made available promptly on the web to the public and for internal use.
- In order to reduce pension costs, all Council officers approaching retirement are to be offered an early euthanasia package, or relocation to the Rockall branch and Post Office (opening hours Monday to Saturday when waves below 40m. Sundays - washed away.)
- Underperforming staff to be transferred in threes to the Flannan Isles outreach centre – disappearance allowance included.
I hope all the public will phone the Council on Tuesday to complain vociferously about these ridiculous proposals.