Being Looked After

The blog seems to be developing a pattern of repeated themes as I'm going to continue briefly on the Children's Services/ Looked After Children story.

This morning I go with my Crumpsall Councillor colleague Con Keegan to visit a Children's Home on Seymour Road in our ward. The home started life with twelve beds, was then reduced to nine, and in 2005 further reduced to six beds. Before 2005 it was a regular cause of complaints in the neighbourhood. Not only was it reduced in size it was greatly refurbished to make it look and feel much more like a real home. Since then we've had no complaints at all and twice this year independent Inspectors have judged it 'outstanding'. We didn't get to meet any of the young people living in the home as they were out at school but we did get the chance to congratulate the staff on a job well done.

It's the Council's Executive tomorrow and we have a report on the impact of the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review on Manchester people. There is still a lot that is unclear about the review but on the basis of what we do know, the Greater Manchester Commission for the New Economy estimates that Manchester people collectively will lose £62m a year in cash and that it will be several years before employment returns to pre-recession levels. That's all money that would have gone straight back into the economy so there is a knock on effect as well, but the bottom line is, that for the next few years the city will have a lot of people who are a lot poorer in a world that is becoming more expensive. The challenge for the Council as always is to find ways of dealing positively with the consequences of that.

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There are 25 responses to “Being Looked After”

  1. Ian Says:

    I agree with you about poopr people being poorer. We seem to be taking money from those able to afford it while giving it to the banks that caused all this. To me it not only seems unfair but so not right, come on May give us a chance to say we did'nt vote for these cuts. I must admit i voted liberial at the election put never again, yes this post is political I admit but so are these cuts led by idoligical reasons not ecomomic.

  2. REDSTEVE57 Says:

    The Governments CSR is devastating for the City and its citizens. Though there have been no compulsory redundancies announced for City Council staff there is still the loss of 1500 posts due to the vacancies being withdrawn from general release. They are in effect redundant positions that Manchester residents will now no longer have the opportunity to apply for. My understanding is that to get out of a recession the general public needs to be encouraged to spend their cash as this stimulates growth and boosts the economy. Well I for one will not be helping to stimulate the economy I will be saving as much as I can to pay the rise in VAT, the probable interest rises that will force up my mortgage payments and the inevitable rise in fuel, food and clothing that will follow on. It's a tale that hear from many of my family, friends and colleagues. I never thought I would turn into Scrooge but it seems this Christmas I will have to survive the ConDem alliances economic madness!! Bah humbug!!

  3. Duke Fame Says:

    £62m a year in cash hte council has lost is £62m a year in our pockets. I think councillors need to rcognise this is our money you've (local councils) been over-spending for all these years. If councils managed to sitck to the basics council taxes would not be so high and we'd all be a little better off.

  4. thomas matthews Says:

    'stick to the basics' - what exactly are these? Just tax and not do anything for those less well off or with fewer oppurtunities etc etc. Although there has always been some waste, this Council has done so much good for those less fortunate and helped regenerate the city. Getting 'back to basics' is not what I want and I hope that Duke Fame doesn't get to choose where the limited cash goes in the future and apply this small government nonsense.

  5. Duke Fame Says:

    The basics are to supply the services that are consistant with market failure - street lighting, roads, schools etc.
    The best way to help people is to create employment, reduce / remove (I know central govt need sto change this) put less burden on ht eproductive sector and business will employ people. It's far better to lose a few council jobs and gain private sector jobs.

  6. Duke Fame Says:

    thomas matthews - it may seem small governemnt nonsense but the big spending got us to a position where council tax is 10% ave income. Without cutting public sector spending, it's no good for Manchester.

  7. franky Says:

    I'm not surprised, in spite of what Mr Clegg said that the rich people lose more than the poor, the fact is that the poor will leave lose more than the rich people, such as Cameron, Osborne and Clegg

  8. Paul Says:

    This might be a very constructive debate if Duke could expand on the principle of market failure and identify those areas of activity from where the council could safely pull back?

  9. Richard Leese Says:

    Sorry Duke Fame - this isn't £62m off the Council. This is a £62m cut in the income of Manchester residents - money the government is taking out of your pockets

  10. Duke Fame Says:

    Thank you Richard, In what way are we losing £62m? PAYE nor NI hasn't gone up so is this all down to council tax increases and VAT?

  11. RESTEVE57 Says:

    If Duke Fame wants to make vitriolic comments about Local Goverment, and in particular Manchester City Councils, spending plans due to the savage cuts announced in the Comprehensive Spending review, then he should understand what the CSR is. It's basically the grant awarded annually by Central Government that allows Councils to deliver the services as efficiently as can be acheived within the budgetary constraints that are set.
    This year Manchester has been granted £62 million less than the previous year. Which is why, though staff aren't being made redundant, jobs are being reduced by 1500 over the next 3 years by not advertising posts when they become vacant and removing them from the structures of each department. Effectively the citizens of Manchester over the next 3 years will have 1500 job opportunities lost to them due to the outrageous cuts in funding for Public Services.1500 less taxpayers, 1500 less National Insurance contributors, 1500 less workers spending their earnings in businesses run by the private sector, 1500 people having to access welfare benefits and 1500 people that will not have the chance to feel proud to be a worker.
    So Duke Fame if you want to point fingers at those that are hell bent on destroying the Public services that you need then point it South where those that make the decisions that effect the lives of everyone in this magnificent city of ours, sit in splendid isolation because they, the millionaire set, can afford to.

  12. Richard Leese Says:

    I'll try again. The £62m per year is nothing to do with the Council. It is largely a result of changes to the welfare system which mean big reductions in payments to thousands of Manchester families. We won't know how much the Council's own budget is going to be cut by until next week.

  13. Mr X Says:

    " If councils managed to sitck to the basics council taxes would not be so high and we'd all be a little better off."

    If the banks hadn't been so irresponsible in the sub-prime market we would not be in this position after the taxpayer (which includes all Local Govt employees for those in the media who seem to have forgotten) had to bale them out.

  14. Duke Fame Says:

    So Manchester is oing to be £62m worse off in benefits payments? Suey those of us who pay for these benefits will be £62m up on the deal, surely a good thing?

  15. Duke Fame Says:

    Mr X, you have to take on board that the crazy public spending including that of local authorities was made possibe on that phoney growth created by banks. The govt of the time and high spending local authorities are as culpable.

  16. Duke Fame Says:

    RESTEVE57 seems to at odds with Mr Leese' view. I view tax as being the same thing. If it's being spent on unnecessary services or basic inefficiency, it is better left in the pockets of the taxpayer to spend on productive commercial goods and services. That is how the economy will recover, not extending the phoney economy of high public spending an unsustainable borrowing.

  17. Ian Says:

    RESTEVE57 Says

    Well said you have said what a lot of people think.

    I still can not see why its the poor being picked on because the Banks wanted to make even more money. What is being set up to stop them doing the same thing in the next 10 years not a lot from where I'm sitting

  18. Duke Fame Says:

    RESTEVE57, I'm not pointing fingers at all, I'm welcoming the cuts as I belive local govt should provide minimal services not be omnipresent.

    Personally I'm not one for this chip on the shoulder attitude where everyone South are millionaires & we're some poor relation, I think hte individual needs to be empowered to do something for themselves and stop relying on the crumbs from the top table.

    One point, why doesn't the council sell off it's idle property interests in order to free up some cashflow?

  19. Ian Says:

    Duke Fame


    If you sell things you have the money one time if you rent out the property you have an income for the long haul.

    I disagree with you totally the Local Authorities need to be there for the people who can't look after themselves. If you force them to allow private companies to take on their jobs say for example Private carers or private care homes. Now if you have to make a profit like these companis are doing are they giving the best service. Now many cases have there been of bad practice by these same private carers. Leave it to the market you say in a round about way the same market that has dragged this country down just look at Ireland were the market was allowed to run free.

    The poor people will be paying for this for decades while the bankers drive around in their flash cars.

  20. Duke Fame Says:

    Ian, That is all very well except there are some very good businesses involved in property development, they are called property developers and there is a perfectly active market. The council isn't a property developer and it's operating way beynd it's remit in playing at something it's ot set up to do. It's also not making any money because these properties are dormant. Furthermore they are scewing the market. In depressed times these properties should reduce in rent and attract companies with cheap rent bringing in employment. Instead they are being kept at artificially high rent and they have no tenants and no employment which is no good for Manchester is it?

    Yes we need social goods but some of these roles are pointless roles to massage the figures.

  21. Mr X Says:

    "The govt of the time and high spending local authorities are as culpable." No they are not.

  22. Duke Fame Says:

    Mr X, I'm not sure how you think the govt and local authority is not culpable. Govt (local & national) get in trouble the same as businesses and individuals - by overspending. There has been a huge increase in spending, our council taxes and business rates have gone into orbit and MCC's debt levels have risen, the number of people it employs has catapulted.

  23. Mr X Says:

    You said "as culpable". They are not as culpable. And if they were they could at least be held to account, which the banks patently cannot since they continue to act in exactly the same way.

  24. Hmmm Says:

    We "the poor" are use to the empty promises spewed by the LA and National Goverments whoever they be, we know that high society couldn't care less and the promises are all a pathetic attempt to win votes in elections that we dont give a toss about, politicians are worse than dole heads and no doubt impact more on the tax payer

  25. Get backlink Says:

    I agree with you about poopr people being poorer. We seem to be taking money from those able to afford it while giving it to the banks that caused all this. To me it not only seems unfair but so not right, come on May give us a chance to say we did'nt vote for these cuts. I must admit i voted liberial at the election put never again, yes this post is political I admit but so are these cuts led by idoligical reasons not ecomomic.