Labour Need To Honest About City Council Finances

My Letter in today’s Daily Echo regarding Southampton City Council’s finances:

Dear Sir
 
Labour Councillor, Simon Letts complains that previous Conservative Council mismanaged the council’s finances (Echo Letters 22nd October). In fact the previous Administration delivered a £6.9M revenue under spend in the last municipal year, presented a balanced capital budget and had in place a robust plan for dealing with the financial challenges faced by the council in the years ahead. 
On the 11th July at the Full Council meeting, Councillor Letts acknowledged the under spend publicly …

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Labour Announce 240 Council Job Cuts

Another broken Labour promise by Southampton’s new Council Administration as a hit list of 240 jobs is revealed, ahead of the draft city budget announcement next month.Labour went into the local elections in May saying there would be no council job cuts as a result of their new staff redeployment model based on one adopted in Sunderland. They renamed this approach the Solent model and described it as their plan B for the council. The scheme would have seen the staff redeployment period extended to …

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Labour’s Pay Deal and Cuts to the Voluntary Sector

There are few easy decisions for local councils these days as they are facing a future with considerably less money than in the past. Local authorities have to prioritise and councillors must make judgements about where best to spend money and where to save it. However it does strike me as very wrong for Labour in Southampton to be announcing an extra £1.1M to fund pay increases for council staff earning over £35,000 and £65,000 pa, yet on the same day in Cabinet voting through cuts …

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Labour/Union Pay Deal Will Cost Jobs and Services

A deal between the union bosses and the new Labour Administration was always going to come fairly quickly once the elections were over. The industrial action was political from the start, with the senior union negotiators all Labour Party people. However the recently announced deal doesn’t mark the end of this sordid story. The cost of the deal is £2.8M a year, and this comes on top of the very large budget gap that the council faces in order to balance the books. The previous …

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