31/01/2014 Leave a comment
On Tuesday SCC cabinet met in West Suffolk House in Bury St. Edmunds to discuss the budget for the coming year and approved a far reaching set of proposals to go forward to the Full Council Debate on 13th February in Ipswich.
According to the journalist from the EADT, Paul Geater, during a set of exchanges about the Library service in Suffolk I overused Al Gore’s famous ‘inconvenient truth’ catchphrase with reference to Labour’s continued attack on our Library Strategy and the simple fact that no Suffolk Library has closed and once he had tweeted his disapproval Labour Councillors in the room jumped on the bandwagon and retweeted what he said that if I used it one more time he would scream, of course I too don’t doubt Labour Councillor would scream because their attack is so weak and pathetic on Libraries even I would screen at their efforts!
It is of course my own fault as during my introduction to the Budget cabinet paper I spoke of the cultural change at the County Council over the years and how now it deliver services in many different ways from wholly owned companies, in-house provision, mutuals, to joint ventures, and, as is the case with Suffolk Library service an Industrial Provident Society commission by the County Council to deliver the library service, a service where every Library is open and customer satisfaction is higher than when it was a purely in-house service, public engagement through a series of friends and management groups is also higher than ever and in my own village, here the library is far more centred in the community than it ever was when it was a direct service see http://lakenheathlibraryfriends.wordpress.com/ . Across the county when I say I’m from Suffolk in local government circles people are keen to hear how we have made the necessary savings in our Library service and how we did it.
I suspect what annoys the opposition more than the words I used is that they so desperately wanted the Library savings to provide them with ammo for their attack position and it’s the complete opposite. Equally we must not forget that they so disagree with the motion than anyone, including our own former staff who make up the backbone of the organisation, could provide a better service at a lower cost than the Council it just so upsets them, bless.
On Tuesday beyond the setting of the Council tax I spoke of the cultural change that has taken place at Suffolk County Council and it’s this willingness to embrace new ways of working focused not on protecting Council jobs but on outcomes. The good people of Suffolk can be relieved that the luddites in the Suffolk Labour party riddled with dogma and old fashioned thinking are not in charge, putting up Council tax, cutting services, and blowing the reserves rather than do anything differently than the socialist utopian Big State.