Manchester City Council

Help!

8am this morning, draft budget proposals went live on the City Council's website. I was tempted to try and give headlines in this post but even a shortened version of the proposals would run to several pages.

There are sixteen reports altogether running to several hundred pages so perhaps simpler to direct you to the Council's website where the full suite of reports can be found http://www.manchester.gov.uk/consultations if you want to take part in the consultation.

I will tell you that the figures prepared by the City Treasurer indicate that we will have to make cuts in the order of £40m next year rising to £80m the year after (the £80m consists of just over £50m in government cuts, the rest being provision for inflation, demographic changes, increases in Waste and Transport levies etc, unavoidable expenditure on things that in the past government would have allowed for in their grant calculation but not any more). I will also say that, coming on top of the £170m of cuts we have had to make over the last two years, this is an incredibly difficult budget to put together. Two years ago we said that we would not be able to make this order of cut without fundamental changes to how we work, and how we and our partners work together. We have spent the intervening time exploring and evaluating new delivery models and the most radical proposals announced today reflect that work in trialling new ways of working.

The Council's Executive will meet on February 13th to decide the budget recommendations it will make to the Budget Council on March 8th, so there are a couple of weeks to respond to the proposals. For those with questions, as well as using the blog I will be doing a Twitter Q & A this Friday afternoon between 4 and 5pm.

There are 23 responses to “Help!”

  1. twitter user Says:

    what is the @ddress for Twitter questions?

  2. helpdesk Says:

    @sirrichardleese will be answering questions on Twitter this Friday, 4-5pm. Use @#asktheleader to take part.

  3. Val Stevens Says:

    The harrying of the North continues. Ah I read that they are changing the history curriculum as well!

  4. jan Says:

    whats the point in a questionaire ifilled the quetionaire in about my sons nursery place closing as did lots of other mums and said we couldnt afford £300 a week for private nursery fees did you listen did you heck.
    As far as consultations go they are a load of hogwash (thats being nice) you have already made your minds up whats closing .Bet the town Hall stays open though. I dont trust the coucillors as far as i can throw them vote ...no not any more ill do what you have done for us in Manchester..... Nowt

  5. Jackie Says:

    I would like to know what the council are doing wit the extra council tax being paid on all the apartments being built. It's certainly not going on the people of Manchester with yet more job losses and excessive cuts or complete annihilation of services!!

  6. Paul Says:

    Once again the Council Tax goes up. MCC employee's have not had a pay rise for 3 years. Its about time the overpayed MP's started to share the burden of the country's probloems. Let start with a limit to how much expenses MP's can claim, some of them are claiming more than we get paid per year.

  7. Dr Winston O'Boogie Says:

    Well I don't envy you having to Carry That Weight Sir Richard. These are the most challenging circumstances I've known In My Life and I can't see it Getting Better anytime soon.

    I wish the government would just Let It Be, they have no idea what A Day In The Life of an average person is like, where you have to check the cost of Every Little Thing. I can't even afford to Drive My Car any more even though I work Eight Days A Week. Frankly It's All Too Much and I'm So Tired of it all.

    I shudder to Imagine what a few more years of austerity would mean. My sister has had enough, She's Leaving Home and has A Ticket To Ride on The Long And Winding Road down south to look for work. I don't know if she'll ever Get Back.

    How will this all end? I guess Tomorrow Never Knows, but I'm sure We Can Work It Out.

  8. Sue Says:

    Yet more swimming pools close I use Miles Platting regularly as it has convenient times etc I also have a yearly membership will this be reimbursed will it heck .What do we pay our council tax for this council should look out for its constituents but as usual it looks out for itself. I am totally disgusted at the number of facilites being closed down in deprvied areas i am not unemppoyed yet but how can people afford to travel to enjol leisuyre facilites

  9. Emma New Moston Says:

    How can you think it is okay to close both a library and a leisure centre with 0.5 miles of each other in New Moston? This will have a devastating on our local community and to give only a couple of weeks to respond is completely unacceptable. These are the only facilities the children have available to them. Its a disgrace and you should be ashamed of yourself.

  10. Ex employee Says:

    So I read that mcc are merging and adults and children's services? What name will it be? Back to Social services where it started over 12 years ago? So after all that time and waste of money changing things we are going back to what we had!!

  11. Pleb Says:

    So I am being asked to give up my job to make savings, whilst Howard Bernstein continues to get paid 10 times my salary - £200K?

  12. Red Mist Says:

    I agree with pleb - how are at least half a dozen Assistant and Deputy Chief Executives justified ? There used to be one and it worked better. As for Emma, you are quite right - how on earth can they strip New Moston of it's two leisure facilities, both within half a mile of eachother ? Nothing to replace them like what is being planned in other areas. And they have the cheek to increase council tax ?

  13. crumpy Says:

    Northenden library filled to burstin at story time today. Yet its bein closed. Spend your reservrs!!!

  14. Dave Says:

    And as MCC is part owner of Manchester Airport Group, How much is the purchase of Stanstead Airport costing MCC conuncil tax payers???

  15. Dan Says:

    But you can find £1.5bn to buy Stansted Airport!

  16. Manc Man Says:

    Why doesnt the council ask its residents where savings can be made?
    We all see the council wasting our money on things the residents do not benefit from.
    Have a public debate!!

  17. Flabbergasted Says:

    It really is unbelievable that mcc are closing libraries and swimming pools and getting rid of staff whilst investing residents money in an airport in London! To justify this by saying there's a possible long term profit to be made says it all really. How about investing in the people and children of this city Mr Leese?? Have you considered the long term irreversible damage to the people of Manchester this may lead to? These decisions are made by few yet affect so many. So disappointed.

  18. Community Action Says:

    Crumpy.....don’t expect the City Treasurer to dip into his reserves but do make out the case for for an investment fund that will support residents to leverage additional funds to mange their own local services. Visit ....http://www.number10.gov.uk/take-part/your-neighbourhood/community-asset-transfer/
    “If your community is threatened with the loss of an important asset building or area of land, you can do something about it. It could be a community centre, library, or the local village pub, any of the places that your community really values. It could also be a redundant school, church or town hall, with potential to become one of those vital community hubs”. ...........There are lots of different ways asset transfer can work – for example, if the building is owned by the local authority, you can try to transfer at nil cost or nominal rest . There are Trusts that will make grants available for running costs and you can expect a large donation from your local Councillor! At all costs resist the City Treasurer’s immediate urge to sell off the building as part of the Council’s large property portfolio. Remember the council only holds these building in trust for the community.

  19. Plane Spotter Says:

    Some of the comments on here about the airport are completely ininformed. The Manchester Evening News summarised the Stansted Airport deal a couple of days ago, have a look if you want the facts - http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1598581_manchester-airport-buys-stansted---but-what-does-it-mean-for-you-we-find-out

    An interesting quote from the MEN article - "The councils have not had to pay anything towards the deal".

    Also, it says that the councils received £20m from M/cr Airport profits in 2012 and that amount is expected to go up with the purchase of Stansted. Its a win-win for the councils and local people. It doesn't cost a penny for council tax payers and the councils will get much needed additional money to partly offset against the massive cuts in funding from central government. Otherwise there would be even more jobs and local services going to the wall.

  20. Mr.Cynical Says:

    No point wondering why we have 3 invisible councillors in the ward.Don't need that many.But as it's jobs for the boys,like I say no point consulting.Mind already made up.We're alright - sod the rest.

  21. franky Says:

    I see you are closing the iconic withington swimming pool. You should go there one day and see the infants learning to swim, students keeping fit and pensioners enjoying themselves. Its a disgrace that it all comes down to saving money!!

  22. Ex-Employee Says:

    So the years over-spending and wasting money has finally come back to bite MCC.

    For years when it came it year end budget holders were advised that they should spend all their budget or they wouldn't get it the following year! This meant lots of money being wasted on things they didn't need to use up the budget.

    Hindsight is wonderful but this attitude is one of the reason's we are in the mess we are.

    And as for all the money wasted on the Awards for Excellence, taxis and outside catering for meetings. Staff took the michael and look where it has left us!

  23. Camille Says:

    Re: Franky "it's a disgrace that it all comes down to saving money".

    You're absolutely right, but you can hardly blame Richard Leese or the council for having to make these choices.

    Look at the graph on page 17 of the Strategic Response document (linked from consultation page highlighted on the blog), by 2018/2019 there will be no money for ANYTHING apart from the statutory stuff if funding continues to be slashed.

    Don't lose sight of the real villains here. Here's a clue, they don't reside anywhere near Manchester.