Utter Contempt For Coalition as they drive through cuts, cuts

Before I start another mind blowing debate please watch this Youtube:

There will be many people from all walks of life will not have a decent supper tonight as living standards continues on a down turn whilst some people are on zero contracts who are struggling to make ends meet yet we read and hear more political gimmicks coming from the coalition front benches.

Young-person-homeless-hun-007Christmas and New Years is just round the corner will see an further increase in debts just to keep up with the Jones coupled by legal and illegal loan sharks rubbing their hands all the way to the banks so the Moral of this message is don’t suffer in silence see help from Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) if you are facing debts and spend within your means.

In my last article I mentioned about Local Government facing armageddon time by coalition from 2014 onwards many Councillors from all the main political parties will take the opportunity to tell us that they will have to make hard decision to implement deeper cuts imposed by coalition government. Well we all can forget about the Jaws of Doom but instead look at all the departments of local government Armageddon competing to meet the coalition targets for unjustified cuts and when will they learn the lessons that there is not enough one bedroom accommodations which I have to say that both Conservatives and Labour are to blame as each had the opportunity to build but failed to smell the coffee when it accrued on their retrospective watch.

Those who will recall a campaign group called Defend Council Housing was calling on the government at the time to build more affordable housing but was continued to be ignored as the government at the time thought they knew best.

In today’s housing market is currently out of reach to the many, the few that can afford those prices are sitting on their hands waiting for a better deal to arrive and this coalition continue to turn a blind eye to their fatcat friends and continues to penalize the low and middle incomes by informing them about the right to buy scheme reintroduced by the coalition.

QTGLIf anybody had the opportunity to watch Question Time on 21 November 2013 would have realize the most dominated topics where Jobs, Housing, Bus Pass and Pensions which Jeremy Hunt did not have the answers many were surprised to witness that he had no choice but agree with Sadiq Khan solutions.

Sooner or later the price of fish and chips with mushy peas and gravy will be out of the price range to people on very low incomes as the price of food continue to increase which includes gas, electric, petrol, public transport and tuition fees will continue to increase whilst the coalition will say it’s all Labour fault not remembering it’s now happening on their watch now.

dec-5th-draft-b-council-house-gradientThere are many council leaders even from the three main political parties are telling the coalition to change course which are falling on deaf ears yet I have to admire one council leader viz Sir Albert Bore has been very consistent warning to both the previous and present government of Jaws of Doom which the coalition has tried their best to discredit his warnings we will not have a council service that we all will not recognize 10 to 15 years’ time but from the looks of it we may be looking at 5 years if we have a return of a coalition or a conservative government.

Please see the article of Sir Albert Bore defends jaws of doom see below:

In a political career stretching back 30 years, Sir Albert Bore, 66, can recall Birminghamcity council working happily with successive Tory governments, including the late Margaret Thatcher’s senior ministers. “Look back to the 1980s-90s, and Labour councils – this one certainly – co-operated with a Conservative government,” he says. “It comes down to whether it is advantageous, appropriate.”

Such pragmatism led the veteran councillor to acknowledge this year that some of David Cameron’s ministers had gone further than the last Labour government in devolving more power and funds to cities with a variety of “city deals“.

There is one exception: communities and local government secretary, Eric Pickles. Speaking more in sorrow than anger, Bore acknowledges a “standoff” between big cities and a minister who has lopped £5bn off council budgets in England over the past two years, with potentially worse to come. The trauma from that unprecedented cutback will soon be felt in places, such as Birmingham, where Bore says whole services face the axe.

England’s second city is under the cosh. Multimillion-pound funding to the world famous City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and the Birmingham Royal Ballet, is not secure beyond this year. Even statutory services, such as children’s and adult care, could be cut to the bone. Where will it end?

A much-publicised graph, the “jaws of doom“, is never far from his desk. It shows the budget pressures facing the city rising remorselessly high on the right of a grid and cuts in grant plunging to the bottom right – income dismally failing to meet expenditure. “I can’t salami-slice any more,” he laments. “Budgets have been pared back. We will have to cease doing certain things. I’m not specifying yet what those will be because I want the public of Birmingham to come to an understanding on what services the city council should provide and at what level.”

Bore, in his second spell as council leader after a break of eight years – when Birmingham was run by a Con-LibDem alliance – will soon launch an extensive consultation across the city of more than a million people, with public meetings, and much else, to illustrate the budgetary dilemma. The only certainty is that the city will never be the same again.

He quickly does the maths in the elegant, classical council house (as the town hall is known), once a powerful statement of municipal power and entrepreneurship that began with the legendary late-19th-century mayor, Joseph Chamberlain. “We’ve now taken up to £400m out over four years and that ‘jaws of doom’ [graph] shows it’s £615m we need to get to by 2016-17,” sighs Bore, anxiously awaiting George Osborne’s next three-year spending review in June and the prospect of worse to come. “We will then have to look again because the austerity measures that government are putting in place will continue beyond 2016 to 2017-18.”

And by then? “That £615m means 50% of the city council’s controlled budget. We have a gross budget of £3.5bn. Once you take out schools, housing etc, it’s down to £1.2bn and then, of course, you’ve got debt repayments. The city council cannot be the vehicle it was five years ago. Quite what vehicle it will be by 2016-17 we don’t yet know.”

Earlier this year, at a “cuts summit” of city council leaders and mayors in Liverpool, Bore pointed to a contradiction at the heart of what passes for urban policy in England. Acknowledging genuine interest in one part of the government to devolve more powers to cities, he cautioned: “The government needs to understand that all that effort will be fatally undermined if the basic services and infrastructure of our cities are not able to function.”

Shortly afterwards, the normally cautious Core Cities Group of the country’s eight largest cities, including Birmingham, warned Pickles of a looming financial crisis in anopen letter, with the prospect of some key services being decommissioned from next year.

In many ways Bore is the ultimate pragmatist. A physicist turned long-serving city politician, he played a big part in Birmingham’s central transformation in the 80s and 90s, and has a long record of deal-making across the political divide stretching back to his days as chair of the city’s economic development committee.

Bore took a cross-party delegation to meet Cameron last year, out of which grew a renewed association with Lord Heseltine, a long-time admirer of Chamberlain’s municipal Liberalism which transformed the city with council-run gas, electricity and water, public health provision, banking, and a progressive education and public health system. Birmingham, England’s largest local authority, can only dream of having such powers today.

Heseltine chose Birmingham to launch his Downing Street-commissioned review in November into improving the country’s economic prospects. Last month, Heseltine completed another report on improving the economic prospects of Birmingham city region. It made a series of recommendations, from creating a city-centre enterprise zone – now becoming a reality – to an accelerated drive to tackle poverty and deprivation. This won’t be made any easier by the government’s welfare reforms, which are set to have a huge impact on the city. Close to 15,000 households in Birmingham will be affected by the “bedroom tax” and more than 20,000 residents are expected to lose an average of £88 due to the benefit cap, according to a report that went to councillors this week.

Asked if Pickles is the most difficult secretary of state he has dealt with, Bore is diplomatic. He says the minister was pleasant enough when they met at a council reception during the last Tory conference in Birmingham. “But he is proving difficult … he won’t sit down with us … to see if there is an agenda where local government could work more closely with him. There is a standoff.”

He adds: “I don’t want to be the leader of a city council talking about the end of local government as we’ve known it, making over £600m in cuts, taking out 50% of the controlled budget – that’s not the agenda I want to play out. I want to address a positive agenda about what local government should be about and what it can do for the population. That should be the agenda I should be addressing with Eric Pickles.”

So no meeting of minds? “That’s the problem, isn’t it? There does seem to be gap between [Pickles’s] perception and reality. And the reality is the one I and other core city leaders have been painting – we will be discontinuing some services.”

One response to “Utter Contempt For Coalition as they drive through cuts, cuts

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