You may have read my post last week about our Labour-run council’s plan to cut school transport provision:
At Children’s Scrutiny today I challenged this. Pointing out:
– the same department seeking to make the cuts has just announced it has saved 10 times as much so far this year as the cuts required to school transport – £7.6m
– the same department has £9.4m in a cash limit reserve allocated to nothing.
– the council has over estimated inflation this year as 15 times its current rate.
– the council has over estimated the cost of its debt to the tune of millions of pounds.
– the council has placed £20m in a planned delivery reserve to stop cuts such as this.
– the council has £6m more in its insurance reserve than it needs
– the council has six communications departments. If they were merged it would save upto £1.5m a year
– the council has more directors than it needs and could save hundreds of thousands of pounds by just reducing by one.
– the council said it would cut mileage allowances for staff and councillros by 3p from 48p a mile to 45p a mile which would have saved £240,000 it has now stopped this.
In total the council has £80m to play with and loads of ways to find the money it needs so that it does not need to make this harsh cut.
The response from one Labour councillor was that if anyone had sensible ideas they would be listened to but when i sugested the committee could recommend any of these things, I was simply told it was a consultation and my views would be passed across. Some scrutiny that is. The committee could have collectively opposed this madness.
And one Labour county councillor actually said that we should manage these things better to make sure there wasn’t as much bad publicity. The only people creating bad publicity are the Labour-run Cabinet on Durham County Council for acting like a bunch of far-right, slash and burn Tories.