Sunday, February 14, 2010

Job cuts at HDC?

In an article in the News and Crier Cllr Reeve (UKIP) and Cllr Downes (Liberal Democrat) have a go at the financial competence of the ruling Conservative on Huntingdonshire DC. Looking at the financial summary in the graphic below this shows £6.1 million needs to be saved from the proposed plan of £27.5 million.

The article also points out there is £15.8 million in reserves. But the Conservatives are using this money to prop up the deficit budget. This is just throwing money away. When the money runs out deep cuts will have to be made.
So the HDC has £6.1 million to cut from its budget and hasn't identified where the savings are going to be made. The Conservatives are using the £15.8 million to prop up this budget. True, the Conservatives are going to use £1.2 million on invest to save schemes. Why didn't the Conservatives do this beforehand?

I largely agree with Cllr Downes. The problem is there is little alternative to cut services. The next Government will have massive financial problems. If the Conservatives are hoping for a miracle to sort out this mess it won't happen.

Whilst the Conservatives talk of protecting "front line services" I can find no definition of what these are. For instance Public Conveniences could be called "front line services" and are to close and jobs cut.

What is needed is a conversation between HDC and the public on the way forward over cuts. The trouble is what a council calls frontline services and what I call frontline services do differ. 

Faced with a £6.1 million cut from the budget job losses are inevitable. Otherwise we could end up with the bureaucratic utopia of loads of jobs and few services to provide to the public. The quicker the Conservatives actually get on with planning the reductions the better for all. This piecemeal approach of deficit budgets is doing no one any good other than the political fortunes of the Conservatives.

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