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"Councils 'not to blame' for financial woes" - of course they are!


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Councils 'not to blame' for financial woes

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Labour’s candidate for West Midlands mayor, Richard Parker has refused to blame councils in the region for the financial difficulties they are facing.

Mr Parker said government cuts were the main reason some councils were in financial trouble.

The government says it is making billions more available to councils, who are ultimately responsible for their own finances.

from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/cz79e337xrxo

 

Nice dodge there, typical of a Labour politician to just simply 'blame' the current Conservative government.

 

Birmingham city council effectively declared itself 'bankrupt' last year, while Coventry, Sandwell and Dudley councils are also admitting they are struggling to fill shortfalls in their budgets, and are close to finding themselves in the same position.

 

As pointed out in the quote above, councils receive funding from the government but are "ultimately responsible for their own finances".

 

So why are councils in financial trouble?

 

The main reason is that they like to waste money. Instead of prioritising the 'core' services they need to provide - things like road repairs, refuse collections etc - those services are the first to be cut-back, so that money can be spent on pointless vanity projects, or those things being demanded by the UN Agenda 2030 goals.

 

For example, Birmingham spent millions of pounds creating new cycle lanes (that hardly anyone uses), while there are hundreds of miles of other roads crumbling away.

 

So Mr Parker I disagree with you here, councils are in financial trouble because they have no sense of fiscal responsibility, and simply don't understand the concept of "living within your means".

 

And it should not be up to the taxpayer to pay the price for feckless spending policies by increasing council tax.

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Worth just adding here that Labour's mayoral candidate won't blame councils in this region because the majority of them are Labour controlled. 🤫

 

But it doesn't really matter which party controls a council, their paid civil service staff are riddled with Common Purpose change-agents, either actively pushing their Agenda 2030 goals, or 'dipping their hands in the till' by siphoning off public money into the pockets of their fellow CP graduates.

 

 

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It's not just in England either...

 

WATCH: Ceredigion Cabinet back huge council tax rise as finance chief warns budget is 'biggest challenge yet'

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Council tax-payers in Ceredigion are set to see their tax bills rise by nearly 14 per cent, an extra £216 a year for the average property, as the council faces its “starkest budget yet”.

The 2024/25 Ceredigion budget requirement is currently £192.470m, an increase of 6.9 per cent from 2023/24.

A report for members at Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet meeting of January 23, presented by Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement Services Cllr Gareth Davies said Welsh Government had openly stated that their 24/25 draft budget is “the starkest and most painful since devolution,” with Ceredigion only received a 2.6 per cent Welsh Government funding increase, 14th out of the 22 Welsh local authorities, the lowest increase per head of population across all of Wales.

“It is therefore also Ceredigion County Council’s starkest budget yet and worse than was previously forecast,” the report added.

 

In the bleak report, members heard the latest cost pressures faced by the council total were an unprecedented £18.1m, with a budget shortfall of £14.6m which “therefore needs to be found from a combination of budget reductions and Council Tax increase considerations”.

Pressures identified included real living wage costs of an additional £0.9m for 24/25, Social Care related budget pressures of £6.2m, National Living Wage projected cost pressures of c£4.8m, a considerable increase proposed by the Mid & West Wales Fire Authority for the Fire levy, equivalent of over a one per cent increase in Council Tax alone, and a reduction in WG specific grant funding.

The current 2023/24 Band D council tax level in Ceredigion – for all components – is £1,908, just above the Wales average of £1,879, with the county council element currently at £1,553.60.

from: https://www.cambrian-news.co.uk/news/watch-ceredigion-cabinet-back-huge-council-tax-rise-as-finance-chief-warns-budget-is-biggest-challenge-yet-662270

 

Now I know that councils in Wales are slightly different, as they get their funding from the devolved Welsh government, rather than directly from the UK government.

 

But still, I think you will find as this all gets 'buried' in 'local news', that a lot of councils around the UK are intending to raise their council tax bills by eye-watering amounts, and hoping they can get away with it by keeping this out of the national news.

 

Perhaps if the Welsh Labour administration and its county councils would stop pissing away public money on vanity projects, or furthering Agenda 2030 goals, then there would be enough money to properly fund essential services without expecting hard-up taxpayers to make up the shortfall.

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And for balance, it's not just Labour-controlled councils who can't manage their finances properly...

 

Dudley Council leaders ‘ignored early finance warnings’

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DUDLEY Council’s Conservative leaders have been told they ignored early warnings of financial collapse and may need to bring in external help.

The dire message came from the authority’s Labour opposition who highlighted a report by auditors last July which warned reserves were so low there was only limited resilience to overspends.

The council now faces a £12m black hole in its finances which is being blamed on unexpected costs in adult and children’s social care during the autumn last year.

At a meeting of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on January 25, Labour’s finance spokesperson, Cllr Shaukat Ali said: “The council doesn’t listen to anyone, when you challenge it closes its ears and goes to sleep, that’s why this council is in such a mess.

“The audit committee report came in July last year, alarm bells were ringing but they did not take any action.”

In their July report auditors Grant Thornton, who charge Dudley £184,000 plus VAT, highlighted a number of issues which could add several million pounds to the council’s costs.

The auditors said: “Given the cost of living increases, these issues present a clear risk to the council’s financial position.”

The report also said the council pledged to make cuts of £7.8m but the authority had not delivered promised savings in either of the two previous years.

They concluded: “Given the continued reduction in reserves, the council has only limited financial resilience against overspends and other financial changes.”

from: https://www.halesowennews.co.uk/news/24078436.dudley-council-leaders-ignored-early-finance-warnings/

 

 

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