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

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Council support settlement

So the numbers are in, and grim reading they make for the Western Isles. 

The Revenue grant drops from just under £112m this financial year to £108m in 2014/15, and it is the effect of both inflation and the centrally agreed pay increases that are going to be the real impacts.

Allow for 4% inflation, and the Revenue grant should have grown to £126m, meaning a cut of around £18 over 4 years.

That's bad.  Very, very bad.

And then it gets worse.

Look at the Capital grant which drops from £8m to £1m over the period to 2015/16, giving a total cut in the cash available to the Council of £25m.
Going down the pan

That is way beyond horrendous.

At this point, if anyone can find the missing local Labour Party, they should be asking if the MSP, MP and the SNP Councillors (current and potential) actually support the cuts.  Or is any of the 18 going to actually break rank and speak for themselves and "fight for the isles" (sic) as they promise?

Expect blood and bile in the Council chamber when the cuts are discussed.

My sources suggest that other public bodies are going to see similar size cuts announced in the coming months.


Anonymous said...

The missing what Party?

Polly E Tic said...


It does seem now you would get more respect admitting membership of the BMP.

Andrew Walker said...

Angus, as one of 16 "potential" SNP c'llors from next May, it is important to point out a number of facts to your readers:(i) the Comhairle budget will be set for year 2012-13 by the time the election takes place (after the "blood and bile" event in the council chambers); (ii) my role if elected will be to protect the most vulnerable in our community with the resources that are available; (iii) there is a lot of water to run under the bridge over the next four-year period of austerity, incl a referendum on independence and giving the Scottish people and Ministers at Holyrood more control over our own destiny, rather than a "cap in hand" approach to a ConDem administration at Westminster (asking, please, for some of our own money back). Some of our very own wealth-creating genius will remain in Scotland and will be used for our own purposes. Our future can be bright and very different with SNP in control!

Anonymous said...

You didn't read the small print for 2015/6 - * The value shown for 2015-16 is only the re-profiled amount from SR2011 and does not represent any other future amounts payable as these will be determined in the next spending review period.

- In other words that won't actually be the full amount for 2015/16

Anonymous said...

Andrew: maybe if your fellow nationalists supporters were actually productive, rather than spending their time bombing google so that searching on it for "What defines an English person" comes up with a rather negative top result, Scot(ch)land would be a more prosperous country. Just sayin'...

Cynicus said...

Andrew, your response sounds very much like you are washing your hands of anything that might affect the islands until (if!) you are elected.

The budgets cuts mightn't be so bad if the SNP locally made some very strong representations to Holyrood, rather than just trying to pass the blame along.

The Council budget might be set by the elections, but you can still oppose the massive cuts right now.

Cue 18 silences.

So much for the hollow promise to "fight for the isles".

Andrew Walker said...

Dear Cynicus, I have already voiced strong opposition to cuts to SW Adult Services Budget, THIS YEAR, and asking questions about (i) the £531000 funding from Scot Govt to W Isles "Change Fund" for older people and their carers (how is this being allocated?); (ii)"Dis-establishment" of three key SW posts, Service Mgr and Head of Service; (iii) Hospital Discharge delays beyond 6 weeks; (iv) Hiking up (freezing) of Home Care budget at Feb 2010 levels; and if that weren't enough to be going on with, (v) increasing eligibility thresholds for H/Care from "substantial" to "critical" levels, creating W/Lists for those with "substantial" needs. I haven't seen much opposition to any of this, so far. Let the campaign begin!
Dear Anon (1.20pm) I worked and lived in England for 8 years in Birmingham and Cheshire and have many happy memories and many good friends. No need to be anxious about SNP independence result - we will be good neighbours, happy to sell oil, renewables, whisky and of course our invaluable and priceless expertise!

Cynicus said...

Andrew, forgive my innocence, but yur position seems to be: even if SNP Government cuts in Coucnil grant means a £1m cut in care to the elderly and disadvantaged, you won't say anything about it until after the elections and long after the budgets are set.

That's 1 of the loud silences; where are the 17 other hypocrites hiding?

Andrew Walker said...

Dear Cynicus (doubter, knocker, sceptic, pessimist) - raise your spirits and recognise that the SNP can make a difference, a BIG difference, where it matters. Sorry I wont be silenced so easily - 18+ many, many supporters still active and confident! The Comhairle have an on-line consultation out at present seeking views about cuts in services for years 2012-13, log in and make your views known:

Anonymous said...

Any chance, for the sake of transparency, that the SNP publish the length of membership for each person on their election list? There's nothing, of course, like a sinner who repenteth, but some of the candidates might be seen to be more opportunist than that.

Inger Lund said...

Andrew your claim to live happily with your English neighbours is some what two faced. Your leader Alex spends a huge amount of time ensuring that the English rid them selves of Scotland as much as promoting Independance up here.

If you want an example other than his constant appearance on English TV, the SNP created a University fees scheme that singularly was directed at the English yet as usual with it's ill thought policies it ensured that the offspring of nearly 1 million ethnic Scots living down south (there are more ethnic Scots in Corby in the Midlands than in the whole of the Western Isles)would be forced to pay to send their kids 'back home' to study!

Independence is almost totally based on finance from energy:

Oil - the English will surrender the Isle of Wight before giving up their share of the North Sea investment and its revenue.

Renewables - plan :- kill the existing tourist industry with wind turbines and hope, just hope the expensive engergy created will be sold down south. It will be cheaper for the English to buy their lecky from the nuc's of Northern France than the burning turbines of Scotland! And a westminster Government or English Parliament might just do that out of spite.

You can be sure if Independence is achived the English will expect the Scots to take their share of the national debts as well as revenue with it. Revenue that of course will be stored in the vibrant Scottish Banking sector!

Many want, including me, the SNP to take over the council and run it properly with a manifest, instead of the bunch of cronies that sit there now.

There is a but however, but give the Saltaire flying, yearning for the Jacobites and love of the past a rest and in check eh. On that score given its Bannock Burn in 2014 and the obvious chance to stir up the clans again in nationalist loathing of the English, are we to expect or even accept a pre-emptive by the Sassanachs' with Flodden in 2013?

Get over it.

Move on not back and commentators cleverer than me are predicting that that will mean proberly an greater economic union between Britain and Ireland maybe the Norse countries too and almost certainly outside the euro zone.

Or is Alex taking Scotland into the euro zone and have his budget set in Brussels or worse Berlin?

You bleat out the same old retoric of the nasty London government - Scots under Blair, Brown and Darling etc had a chance to run it properly and singularly failed even to the point of illegal wars. You forget the English don't actually admire or want the current parliamentary model but would you surrender that to europe to simply be rid of the south?

Think on, think local and just get on and rid us of the 27 wasters outwith your party that are ruining these islands.

You need the incomer vote so temper your tone old boy.

Anonymous said...

Looks like some of the cup cakes from the Iain X blog have escaped. Something to do with the full moon?

Anonymous said...

1:02PM, Nice one :-)

Andrew Walker said...

(i) All SNP "potential candidates" were involved in a thorough assessment and selection process prior to selection to fight the next council election. How many of the yet to be announced other party candidates will be subject of such scrutiny?
(ii)Inger Lund - yes, thanks, local is important, and this is where our efforts will be concentrated, as I've already indicated in earlier post: need for much more transparency and accountability for decision-making, esp in relation to social care services for adults and older people (now taxing blue badges for disabled!)
(iii) Tuition Fees - many domiciled Scots families resident in England, now returning to their homeland to avail themselves of advantageous terms for accessing university and further education
(iii)The SNP links with Holyrood have already helped bring about many benefits to W Isles' residents (RET and abolition of Skye Br tolls, Free Prescriptions, and etc) and this will be continued and enhanced with SNP MP at Westminster, SNP MSP at Holyrood, and a strong SNP group of c'llors within the Comhairle.
(iv) Anon 8.49pm - My SNP membership commenced July 2009 after many years of support (totally opposed to £100bn cost of Trident and Iraq War, to name but a few causes which attracted me to the SNP party). We now have a creditable alternative govt in Scotland (who wants to be ruled by a discredited ConDem administration in London?)
(v) Two-faced with regard to the English? Only when we play them at Hampden! (if ever again!)
(vi) Opportunistic? Yes, of course, seize the moment...come on in and join THE party going places!

Andrew Walker said...

Local democracy and role of c'llors. The present cohort of c'llors must be brain-dead by now, if the next scheduled mtg of the Policy & Resources C'ttee of the Comhairle is anything to go by! Why? Have a look:

This C'ttee is mtg on Thurs 15th Dec at 9.30am. The "Agenda" includes no fewer than 57 items, with 43 attached reports, and 4 to follow (and 2 separately circulated). Total of over 500pages so far.

I think John Cleese should have a look at this, then provide all members of the C'ttee with a viewing of his video "Meetings, Bloody Meetings"!
I think we should all wish our c'llors a Happy New Year now, because I don't think we'll see them again before the N Yr if due political concern and consideration is given to all of these items. The report on "Home Care Service Improvement" (again, aren't they labouring with this particular service, and another re-structuring of the re-structuring), and Charging for Blue Badges, not to mention "Audit Report", should take at least until lunch time. Don't take too long for lunch, only another 54 items!

Angus Campbell, Leader of the Council, why do you tolerate this? Time to put your house in order and better represent the interests of fellow c'llors. Performance management and Best Value includes consideration of how you conduct council business.

My condolences to the 12 particular c'llors sitting on this C'ttee. Book your o/night accommodation now.

Anonymous said...

I see the untried hopefuls have started knocking seven bells out of each others party in letters to Heb News.
The one commenting on Labour addition is particularly encouraging as it says that 16 would not give a majority as there are 32 seats.
Last time I checked there are 31 and that would be a majority.
Keep it up but try and throw in the bit about doing something for the People of the Western Isles just so we may think you know what you are talking about (chancer).


for ancatdearg WTF you gibberring about. I dont like being called a cnut(allthough a cnut is a very usefull thing),are you a spokes person for angus campbell or ian angus mackenzie or brian wilson ?.

[Edited by moderator for bad language]


WTF angus
how come ancatdearg's message can pass moderation?
why did my comment appear on this post?

Anonymous said...

Since the SNP came into power in 2007 there has been no money not even £1 put towards our roads! Where as Labour contributed £20000000 per year towards our roads! Freeze in council tax = price on our heads due to FREEZING roads!

Anonymous said...

Another embarrassment - Andrew Walker recently referred to the council having 32 elected members when there are only 31 - he now takes his ignorance to a new height by claiming the SNP removed the tolls to the Skye Bridge - it would have been reasonable to expect that someone who worked in a local authority would be better informed - Fact: it was the Scottish Executive ( Scottish Labour and Liberal Parties )under First Minister Jack McConnell in government in 2004 that abolished the Tolls. Andrew's SNP minders will no doubt properly ensure he is appropriately chastised - but given his obvious propensity to speak without thinking it is unlikely to resolve the problem .

nottheclique said...

former leader of SNP group on CNES decides to bash current and possible SNP reps because there has to be cuts made. The reason for the cuts lie with the ConDem govt in Laandaan and the SNP govt in Embra has to deal with the crap. Labour sits on the sidelines decrying all of them forgetting that it was their incompetence that started it. So where now? Council (i.e. 'the clique') works out how much of its pet projects can carry on without compromising too many statutory duties. Where does the '18' fit into this scenario? They point out where they have fought previous campaignes and how they will fight for the isles after May.
Will all of the 16 be elected? Will the SNP achieve its 'power grab' or will there just be a bigger SNP presence in CNES having a better chance of holding the 'clique' to account. Surely any one of these scenarios is better than the nonsense that spends our local taxes so badly at the moment.

Anonymous said...

You obviously do not venture out of Lewis because you may have noticed the new road to the south of Tarbert. Maybe a bit further south and you would see the improvements in North Uist.
Or are you being a national complainer forgetting the completion of the M74? Maybe you are unaware of the half billion committment forced on the Scottish Parliament to put trams in Edinburgh? Maybe you are just so anti SNP that you cannot see where you are?

Anonymous said...

'If you want balance then get some scales'

Angus you need a chip on your other shoulder!!

Anonymous said...

Would it not be better if the entire Comhairle were removed completely - its about as useful as a wind turbine in a gale - this appears to be the general consensus of islanders. The latest Comhairle campaign of Angus Campbell's, to gain control of the seabed from the Crown Estate, would be to the detriment of coastal communities.

Bring back local government where Stornoway/Uig is not the centre of the universe - please!