The calm before the Storm
17/10/2010 Leave a comment
It is the final days of calm before the storm and a hush has descended.
All the ‘flurry’ over the past couple of weeks about the New Strategic Direction, Care Homes Strategy and Executive pay has past; the in-year budget cuts have been achieved; the budget planning process for the coming year has been agreed; the grids of what ifs and how’s are prepared; the time of the group meeting to begin discussing the implications is set.
The literally 1000’s of man hours put in by officers, then countless meetings and many a sleepless night has been had, certainly by this Councillor at least, has I hopes produced a set of proposals and rationales that can handle whatever is demanded.
In short the Comprehensive Spending Revue is almost upon us!
A revue that is simply required as a correction in the state spending of this country that has over 13 years of labour mismanagement got totally out of hand, those who say the depth of the correction is not necessary, I personally think they are just sticking their heads in the sand and hoping it will all go away, it will not. If we do not get the spednign of the coutry into balance, the cost of state borrowing will be a weaker pound, inflation creeping in, base rate rising to hold inflaction in check and the cost of mortgages rising, which will put millions of more people into negative equaity struggling to pay their mortgages. The cuts in state spending are needed and needed now, the thoguhts of rising mortgage costs will send shivers down most peoples spines.
Of course human nature tells us that we might be able to agree that it needs to happen in the round but of course that is different when it affects a service we cherish, then the cuts should be somewhere else, simples yes? , err no.
To some extent I think the real job of being a Councillor is just beginning, for the past few years it has been about managing a centralised Agenda, reporting back on a scale you would not believe possible and making the organisation as efficient as possible to deliver low council tax rises, which since 2005 we have done and done well, taking a very inefficient organisation and taking it to now being rated as the 2nd most cost efficient County Council in England and highly regarded as a 4 star (the highest rating) Authority.
Now the funding is being cut but so are the shackles and its for us here in Suffolk to decide how we want to shape our services in the future, its about making difficult decisions and making the right decisions in a way that has not be possible under labour that is the freedom, the difficulty and the challenge ahead.
But for now we wait, speculate at to the scale of what is to be announced, as each day passes and we hear that the PM has stepped in here and this and that will be ring fenced and none of it bodes well for Local Government!