Sunday, 17 October 2010

Can they cut it?

On the BBC website, Harvey Siggs Mendip District Council's Conservative leader outlines the levels of cuts he expects to be handed down from his conservative government and how he expects this to effect his council and our services.

It looks like the Conservatives are expecting £2million worth of cuts in revenue grant from a total of £16million, this a 12.5% reduction, this could lead to 10% cuts in staff and reductions in contractor services.

Politicians often talk about listening to people, I believe Mendip's failure is they have never successfully engaged with the communities they are here to serve.

The Conservatives say they will not increase Council Tax. They will no doubt raise the Special Expense Rate, Car Park charges and professional fees, these easier to hide and could be called stealthy indirect council tax rises.

Harvey Siggs implies there will be more slices of cuts, more generic officers, with less expertise, Mendip Council is increasingly looking a tier of local government for the sake of history (since 1974) it is increasingly looking like a council unable to respond to the challenges of the 21st century.

Mendip will need to develop new partnerships, to do this the Council needs a different type of leadership, less arrogant more open and inclusive. Mendip Council does not operate in a bubble, yet this is how it often looks.

If Mendip has a future then it's needs to transparently to spell out a vision for it's future, if Mendip's strategy of managed decline of recent years continues, the question will be, do we need this tier of local government?

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