Share |
The truths they don't want you to read....

Friday, August 06, 2010

Council cuts - what they mean

Hebrides News carry a story about a 20% cut in the budget being planned/assessed/considered for the next financial year.

Whether this is the full extent of the cuts needed to balance the budget over 5 years is debatable, but as a planning assumption it is a good start.

That is "Good" as in, 'as it has to happen then we are facing up to this'. It doesn't change the extent of the bad news.

But lets put some of these numbers in perspective.

The council spent £120m on Revenue last year and plans to save £24m over the next few years.

Staff costs were £64m and £56m on everything else (which includes interest payments and other unavoidable costs).
Council Offices Stornoway
To save £24m from non-payroll would imply a 40% cut in services, which would actually be closer to 90% in some sections when you factor in the costs that can't be cut significantly - Care Homes etc.

Unworkable and unacceptable.

Assume a 10% staff loss and you still have to cut 30% from the actually doing budgets. Which in reality means 60%+ from some areas.

This is probably still not achievable, without leaving a rump of employees with nothing to actually do, except to be relocated to another department.

Make no mistake, these cuts are going to have to be savage, and it will not be easy for the Councillors.

But, I think that they need to engage with the public early, and to make the options they face available to the public for comment, criticism and possibly even approval.

The public are not just council tax payers, but service users too, and even employees, and if you just throw the 'answer' at the public then you not endear yourselves at a time when Councillors could do with all the understanding they can get.


Anonymous said...

I'm just guessing here - no hard facts you understand, but I can't see there being a major cull of 'high heid yins' in these cuts.

I can't see money rolling in because some of the tower of concrete ivory is being let to other users as a result of a major shake up in the number of apparatchiks

Anonymous said...

It's ok, they are all about to go on strike because they have only been offered a small pay rise. So you can see the reality of the situation is really hitting them.

You know that they will cut services rather than heads because no-one has the balls to do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Both of you above: look forward to your nomination papers for the next election. Otherwise, as we suspect, so much piss and wind!

Anonymous said...

Ooooooh. Looks like a councillor has had his cage rattled above.

Vote now to make the cuts reach right to the top and you might just get re-elected old son.

Better still, make a few suggestions yourself. How about the following

1. All council workers earning above £20K take a 20% pay cut.

2. Limit all current redundancy packages to £20K max.

Even councillors should be able to handle the fact that all the figures are 20 - the same as the %age cuts required

Anonymous said...

7:16pm - You might say that and I hope and pray everytime there is an election that the "General Public" will do the right thing and vote intelligently but unfortunately there are far too many people who are guided by bigoted press and what their granny tells them to do which is why we end up with the same old crap, time and time again.

Anonymous said...

The General public should ask themselves what parts of the council affects them , sit down and think about it for a little while ! do they need there bins emptied ? do they need the potholes filled ? do they need there drains cleaned when they overflow , etc , these are things that are taken for granted not to mention snow and ice ! when the cull comes remember who wil,l suffer , WILL BE YOU !

Anonymous said...

No Pasaran !

Anonymous said...

@ 11.11 am Hahaha you are joking, aren't you? £20k is less than the national average wage - do you really expect folk earning that to take a 20%pay cut when no-one in the NHS, the LEC, the College, the DWP and anywhere else will?

And what thanks would they get from the likes of you? And would you dig deep when they fell behind with their rent?

If you had said £70K I might have agreed with you.

Anonymous said...

8:27pm said:
> If you had said £70K I might have agreed with you.

Is that the bread-line nowadays?

Anonymous said...

8.27 pm

I was just trying to keep it simple for our councillors. Anything above 20 means that most of them will have run out of fingers and toes to count with.

How's about we compromise at £50K - double the national average wage. Mind you, to balance that, I hope you'll agree to reduce the maximum redundancy package to £10K. There's just too many upright members of our community who have had a good screw from CNES for far too long. I'd hate to see them walk away with a thick wedge just because they've been there for a lot of years.

They haven't done very much, just been there.


Anonymous said...

How about offering the employees the statutory minimum rates of pay where there is legislation?
Statutory minimum redundancy - Max £380 per week up to 20 weeks
Statutory minimum SSP - First three days unpaid and the rest at £79.15 per week
Statutory maternity and paternity pay - 90% of pay for 6 weeks and then £124.88 for a further 33 weeks.
This is what us workers in the real world are offered and amazingly our employers get low rates of sick leave, conscientious workers and women who plan their careers and families. This would save millions and make our services slicker....

terrified of being cut off said...

excellent idea 8.40

They are really going to have to either employ less (fewer?) people or pay each one less money. Personally I would be in favour of the latter, but then I am not a council employee.