”When this government gets its policies wrong I will criticise them. When they get it right I will praise them”(Dave Prentis)
“I love my country but I am strongly beginning to hate the system”
My thoughts on Council Summit On Spending Cuts In Liverpool
Lets take a moment to look at the current situation voters decides who they want to run the local government or council. The expectations are very high but in realty central government sets the fresh hold of how much the councils are entitled.
Recently I had the opportunity to the Leader of Birmingham Council(Sir Albert Bore) raised a serious concern over the cuts in Local Government and press release which I concur “We no longer will recognise Local Government we know it in the 5-15 years”.
I’m glad that the Leader of Birmingham City Council was bold enough to mention this. I have been reminiscing for sometime that councils up and down the country Council Reform will come at a price of too fast too soon. I came to this conclusion at a time when I was a Director Secretary of Birmingham Racial Monitoring Unit (BRAMU).
This was when the Birmingham Coalition was in place at a time I noticed a change on the way how the coalition was cutting funding or stopping funding to save on the budget. For the record BRAMU had been around for 23 years campaigning for a fair deal for victims of hate crime and helping victims to report hate crime to both the police and local authorities . This organisation was funded by local authority and various central government departments and lottery grants.
We lobbied all Councillors and MPs to save the organisation but to no avail BRAMU lost the fight in the end. However there is a saying “We live to fight another day”. Granted we had a lot of support from the Birmingham Labour Group, Media and some MPs but after taking some soundings it was decided that owing to lack of funding BRAMU had to close its doors to the general public with a heavy heart.
It is for this reason I am promoting for Birmingham City Council Fair Share Campaign:
Birmingham has been short-changed by this government – which has slashed the cash used to fund our local council services.
This government has starved Birmingham of cash, whilst looking after the leafy Tory voting areas in the south. There is one rule for Birmingham and a different rule for the affluent south. We are not ‘all in it together’.
Every man, woman, and child in Birmingham has had £168 each taken from the money given by the government in grants to provide our services. In prosperous Wokingham in Berkshire they lost just £19. That can’t be fair. For two years running the coalition government has not given Birmingham our fair share of government funding. They have taken the equivalent of £164 from every person in Birmingham, compared to less than £20 per person in Wokingham.
A Labour Council will challenge all political parties, together with all the MPs that represent the city, to make a united bid to government for Birmingham to have its fair share of resources. One of our first acts will be to take our case to Downing Street.
I enclose the article below:
Council leaders from several major UK cities are gathering in Liverpool to discuss the impact of local government spending cuts.
The summit is being led by Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson and the Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Reverend James Jones.
Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Newcastle and Sheffield will all send representatives to the event.
Critics have said it is “unhelpful political point scoring”.
City ‘in profit’
Conservative MP for Chester, Stephen Mosely, said: “It is actually not as bad in Liverpool as it is sometimes made out.
“Last year, Liverpool actually made a surplus of £8m. They increased their reserves to £24m last year.
“In plain English, last year Liverpool made a profit of £8m.
“They have still got that money, it is still in the bank, and they should be investing it for the good of local people, rather than simply jumping up and down and complaining.”
A council spokesman said the authority had £25m in reserve, which was equal to 5% of its net budget – the minimum amount recommended by public spending watchdog the Audit Commission.
Mr Anderson said: “These are the toughest times ever for local government with unprecedented reductions in funding which will change forever the way in which we deliver services.
He added: “We have a duty to our residents to protest to the government in the strongest possible terms about the impact their cuts are having here and across the rest of the country and get them to sit up and take notice.
“We are demanding the government listens, not just to the politicians, but to our faith representatives who witness the damage being done in our communities every day as a result of the cuts, and that they take notice of the dire situation we are in.
“We will be highlighting how their policies are jeopardising the core services we provide to the most vulnerable in society.”
During the summit at the BT Convention Centre, a parliamentary e-petition will be launched calling for the government to urgently rethink its policy and to apply the cuts more fairly across the country.
Attending the event will be:
- Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore and Bishop David Urquhart
- Bristol Mayor George Ferguson and Dean of Bristol, the Very Reverend David Hoyle
- Manchester City Council leader Richard Leese
- Newcastle City Council Leader Nick Forbes and Dean of Newcastle Chris Dalliston
- Sheffield City Council leader Julie Dore and Archdeacon of Sheffield and Rotherham, Martyn Snow