Manchester City Council

Well Squeezed

More bad news for Councils with Government announcing further 10% cuts.

Been on holiday for the last couple of weeks hence the absence of new posts though I enjoyed Rosa's guest entry. Returned to the office yesterday afternoon after arriving in Manchester at 6.45am and am now beginning to suffer the consequences of sleep deprivation but nobody to blame but myself. More significantly, yesterday saw the opening of the new customer service centre in the former Rates Hall in the Town Hall extension. It's the first chance the public have been allowed back into the extension and to see what has been going on there over the last couple of years. I popped over to have a look and talk to some of the staff in there.The consensus seemed to be that it is a vastly improved environment for staff and residents, and the old hall itself looks magnificent. There is still a lot to do before it's all finished but all the evidence so far is that we will succeed in conserving the building and creating a modern, more pleasant, and more efficient work place.

The Local Government Association's annual conference opens at Manchester Central today. Amongst other things, the LGA is the body that represents local councils in discussions with central government, and to say the least it has its work cut out at the moment. Last week's spending review confirmed another 10% cut for local government in 2014/5 and to coin former Labour Chancellor Dennis Healey's famous phrase it is Councils who are being squeezed until the pips squeak and it is the poorest areas who are bearing the brunt. The unfairness is compounded by the fact that as local government has become ever more efficient and takes the lead on very necessary public service reform, central government departments face nothing like the same level of cuts and nationally run programmes like the Work Programme are nothing short of being a disaster.

There are 7 responses to “Well Squeezed”

  1. Ian Says:

    Is it true that Eric Pickles is plugging the loophole with regard to increasing Council tax above the 2% limit.

  2. Dave Says:

    Did you here the Eric(slim) Pickles volunteered the 10% before being asked by Mr Osbourne.

    It will be intresting to see what the people think when things have to close. Over the past few years it has suprised me that people have no idea at all about these cuts to LA budgets. They all shout when MCC have to cut back but were do they think the money is going to come from do'nt they understand that Central Government fund local Authorities.

  3. franky Says:

    Pickles was the privateer of council services under Thatcher, now he can do it over the whole country. I wonder what shares he has in some companies ?

  4. Jim Says:

    Would Labour have done anything different they seem so scared to stand against these cuts.
    We either vote for the Tories who just seem to want to cut bad to the dark ages or a Labour party to scared to stand up for the people the party was founded for. But of course if we only had working class labour MPs not just ones who went to the same schools as the tories.

  5. Sense Says:

    I don't think Ive ever known a government in my lifetime publicly admit to planning to throw 144k people on the dole..As Jim says,no-one seems to want to challenge anything they's as if Labour have basically thrown in the towel and given up.To be fair to the Tories it's been a pretty successful way of demolishing any opposition-they know that they don't have a snowflake in summers chance of getting elected in the major Northern cities(The Tattons and Alderley Edges excepted) simply "starve" them out and take the political opposition down from inside...simple.And by the looks of things,it's worked a treat.

  6. rated well Says:

    The Rates Hall looks fantastic. Now lets get lifts working for staff.
    I see the DCLG got fined for the level of their overdraft and they were 'in a pickle' over this for sure.

  7. Fred Says:

    The fact that the Tories have managed to get the public to believe there is no other way to deal with the budget deficit than by public sector cuts, is a wonder of science shows you can fool all of the people.

    The fact that labour has no answer to this because they want to be seen as a party that can form a government and that can be trusted even though there are other ways of getting the economy moving even the IMF states that there needs to be less cuts to get the economy going.

    The failure of the Government to get the banks that we own to lead to business's is another reason that we are not growing our economy.

    But till the labour Party sorts itself out and decides to attack the governemt over their cuts they have no chance of winning any election. They are only 5 points in front of this Tory shower in the opoinion poles. But the nearer we get to 2015 the louder the Tory newspaper lapdogs will attack the labour party and as it stands they have no answer to that.

    God help us if we get another five years of the Tory party.



The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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