Thursday, May 27, 2010

HDC Officers take apart Liberal Democrats proposals

There is a meeting of the OSC (Economic Well-being) is to meet on 3rd June 2010. The reason for the meeting is the Liberal Democrats came up with some cost saving ideas. This is the official way that local government can destroy proposals from oppositions.

The OSC report is here.

Members' Allowances

The Liberal Democrats came up with some savings. There is a fee for £5,000 for the Chairman of the Independent Remuneration Panel. The main reason for paying this out is the Chairman (unnamed) has lots of data.

Otherwise, the OSC is informed, council staff would have to gather all the information. Sorry, but this is wrong. The Local Government Association gathers and publishes this type of information. The LGA even has its own rates. So e-mail the LGA and get the information from this body.

Who are the members of the Independent Remunerations Panel? I found a Taxpayers' Alliance report on IRP's as I tried searching the Huntingdonshire website and found nothing.

In the Taxpayers' Alliance report it says the chairman of the panel is Dr Declan Hall of Birmingham University. The other 4 members are:

Ms Karen Bell of Cambs and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust

Of the 5 members 3 are women. 1 comes from the private sector. 1 is a solicitor and was a Parish Clerk. The other 3 are non-private. Where are the representatives from the ordinary taxpayers?

Cutting the number of issues of District Wide

This idea has effectively been broken by the officers report. The only problem is this will probably happen as the money runs down. Remember what the officer says now and what will be said in the future. The big problem with this magazine is it is just a Council propaganda rag. There are cuts coming. This could be a useful medium to inform residents. But the Conservative administration won't

Arts Service

This part of the report is revealing. It says under "Comments by the Head of Environmental and Community Health Services":
"Until such time that Members agree on savings elsewhere in the budget, officers are in no position to recommend further expenditure on the Arts Service. Given the size of the current budget deficit (£4.7m) even if savings were identified it is unlikely that officers could recommend reinstating the Arts budget."

In English, the Officer is informing all Councillors to find more than £4.7 million in cuts to the revenue budget to be able to put back an Arts Budget. Actually the Council needs to cut £6.1 million and more than that to make money available for an Arts Budget. It is a pity this realisation of this mess has to come from officers rather than our elected representatives.

No comments: