Friday, 20 May 2011

Burlesque Review

Taking a look at Labour's plans now that they privately believe that the Greens have agreed to back them to form an administration, they are threatening a hell of a lot of reviews and reports to make up for a lack of real action. Well, it beats having to make a decision.

If they are to be believed, most of these are quite substantial and will require large amounts of time and money to implement.

This is what they have publicly stated they would do:
  • Reorganise the Council.
  • Create local consultation structures.
  • Sue Wokingham over Maiden Erlegh. 
  • Scrap charges for green bins.
  • No new parking meters
  • No kerbside parking fines until there has been another review
  • Commission a report into the budget gap.
  • Stop the new grants allocation process.
  • Halt the current programme and commission a new community care report.
  • Reinstate free bus passes to OAPs.
Just taking one promise, the act of halting the adult care reorganisation, will cost the council over £100,000 per month which would have to be found from elsewhere. Labour know that can't actually afford to do any of these things but a thin veneer of review has to put in place otherwise the electorate might think that they had been deliberately lied to.

I estimate that if they kept their "promises" that Labour would run up a £5m in-year budget overspend. This would then have to be added to an estimated funding gap of £10m to find £15m savings for 2012/13.

When you take into account their previous tricks, such as using Section 106 monies to pay for boiler repairs, have been knocked on the head, they really are going to struggle.

It will be interesting to see exactly how many senior officers leave if there is a Labour administration.

On the one hand I'd love to see Labour screw it up and end up discredited once and for all. The trouble is that that would hurt so many residents that I can't really in all conscience actually want it to happen.



In a recent Evening Post they published a piece about 68 year old Liz Cheyney (a Readibus employee) who expressed her concerns about the removal of a pedestrian crossing as part of the Reading Buses route changes.

Readibus suspended her and told her to shut he mouth - she has since resigned following Readibus threats - your opinion please?

Was said...

Not read it or know enough of the facts to comment.