Too be disgusted and scared by the proposed cuts by our local council for 2013/14?(104 Posts)
Got a letter home last week from school saying that our local council intends to cut almost £30 million from its learning and leisure services by 2013/14, and also housing and social care.
The school have expressed their concern over this and want all local parents to go on the website, complete the survey and express their views. I'm doing it just now and am shocked by the questions. It's mainly disagree, agree, neutral answers. I'm paraphrasing, but here's some of the propsals:
Close down the social services office in X (town).
Cut janitorial positions, and instead provide one janitor to cover multiple schools.
Cut canteen staff, free fruit and bread, and increase school meal prices by 25p (excluding free school meals).
Withdraw funding for (local sheltered housing) and encourage elderly people to live independently within their own homes.
Withdraw individual additional support need staff and replace with a more 'generic' assistant.
Reduce cleaning staff in schools.
Reduce our discretionary and community care grants.
Cease free school swimming lessons; only charge those not in receipt of free school meals.
Remove lunchtime patrol staff (lollipop ladies).
Reduce funding to citizens advice bureaux.
Reduce funding to local police and fire safety community based initiatives.
Move waste collection from 2 weekly to three weekly.
Charge £20 for Blue Badges.
And THEN it asks at the end, would you be willing to pay more council tax to help X X Council with its services?
What. A. Joke.
They are scare mongering!! They know no one wants to lose any of those services so it is a way to make you say yes I am happy to pay more.
If there is no money then what do you think they do? Saying there is money is not an acceptable answer.
I'd understand if there was no money; obviously cuts would have to be made somewhere.
The thing that's really infuriating though is that the council paid an absolute fortune three years ago erecting a load of ugly statues and monuments across the towns to 'attract more visitors'.
So basically my child will be losing out on future swimming lessons, her learning support teacher etc because the council would rather spend money on ugly bits of metal. It's terrifying. I can't afford any more council tax either. It's crippling me already each month.
I thought council tax had been frozen by the government until 2015 so the council can't increase it even if they wanted to. Looks to me like they are trying to find out what the majority of people in the area care about least, so there will be less fuss when they cut it. Very crafty imo.
Blimey, our borough isn't perfect but they've tried to protect the vulnerable, went to a meeting about the cuts last year, their slogan was 'people before potholes'.
Ah, that's good to know Sparkleyangel. Unless they're just gathering numbers for now to estimate how much they'll increase it by in a few years when they're allowed to.
We already have all that in place except for fortnightly collection.
Free swimming lessons? Free blue badges? We had to pay for our child's AND pay £25 for a bin when we moved in here.
It is not scare mongering. It is reality. These are the cuts being passed on by Government to local councils. Have you not seen what Birmingham have said? 'This is the end of local government as we know it'.
There will be statutory social care. Your bins will be emptied.
There will be some money for other priorities - this council is asking what do local people think those priorities are? I don't what political persuasion they are, because the OP doesn't say. I would however aslk the school what they plan to spend the pupil premium on - it seems to be the only real extra money coming in to neighbourhoods.
I believe Government will also, again, cap Council Tax increases at way below actual inflation.
There's also a rather high level of unemployment in the area just now. So all these cuts to council staff will mean even more trouble! ONE janitor for multiple schools? How will that even work? The janitor at my daughter's school is always kept really busy. This will mean that teaching staff will have to end up doing some janitorial duties, thus sacrificing their time in the classroom. It's really frightening, and I can't believe it could happen.
Well, it's happening, Downton. How about volunteering to take on some janitorial duties if it comes to pass so the teachers can focus on their job? Better than old people or children with special needs getting their budget cut.
Free fruit and bread in schools?
Never heard of that or free swimming lessons, either.
But I'm afraid that ship has sailed.
I really would urge you, OP, to ask what the pupil premuim money is being spent on. It is quite a large extra sum for some schools.
And lollipop people at lunchtime?
Where do you live? There's no lollipop person at all, and no light, either, on a 40mph road and the school is downhill.
You're going to have to cast lots here, and best put it with stuff that counts than all these extras.
OP No lunchtime lollipop ladies and 'It's really frightening, and I can't believe it could happen.'
How about cutting public sector salaries and pensions, particularly for the execs? Council tax is already ridiculously high considering the poor level of service we recieve in this country. Someone needs to remind the public SERVANTS that they work for us, not the other way round.
Some of these seem perfectly reasonable to me. Why do you need a lunchtime lollipop lady? And free fruit and bread? And 20 for a blue badge doesn't seem that steep.
It would be more helpful if it showed for each category how much they would save by cutting/reducing the amounts, and also show how much they are trying to cut down by in total.
Someone has to pay for it. If you live in an area with high unemployment and a town full of charity shops on low rental, then service will have to be cut. Spending money you havent got is how the country got in this mess.
Last time we had a Labour council they managed to drive our affluent borough into the red by 16 million so a school had to be closed and the land sold off to housing developers.
We got much the same letter a few weeks ago. Same things re janitorial cuts, closing out of bounds centres, centres for vulnerable adults, bin collections reduced, no free swimming lessons, school meals going up, the list goes on and on.
Our council has just closed a road for a year to dig it up and replace it with coloured slabs with golden inscriptions on them. The done the other side a year ago and it looks terrible, it will also slow traffic down as there's big islands everywhere now. The town centre is already full of pawn shops, cash 4 gold shops and charity shops, 3 shops closed down in a matter of months
Central Government have made massive cuts to local authority budgets as well as the freeze on council tax.
There is very, very little money. Anything that is not a statutory requirement is going in many local authorities.
Yes OP, it is really worrying. The cuts from government are having a real affect on our country.
Stuff like "Withdraw individual additional support need staff and replace with a more 'generic' assistant." and "Withdraw funding for (local sheltered housing) and encourage elderly people to live independently within their own homes." will lead to real suffering for already vulnerable people.
It is because of the attitudes of people such as some posters on this thread that they are able to get away with it.
And please people, less of the party-political points scoring "it was Gordon Brown wot got us into this fine mess". What the Tories are doing is ideological. They want to do this, there are choices (how many cuts, how deep). They are choosing to do as much as they can to wreck the welfare state.
Where are their plans for stimulating the economy? For job creation?
The ferociousness of the cuts is driving us further into recession.
Borrowing is going up.
Ours are closing the children's centres, libraries & meals on wheels.
In response to aufaunae - OP could also ask what her council's "idealogy" is to keeping money back in savings accounts during Conservative governments to make their local population believe that the money is being withheld by central government. c.f., Liverpool during the 80s for just one example, but I believe Birmingham are guilty of this too - well, basically any Labour stronghold obviously.
Amazing isn't it? That the councils would rather pretend they've got no money than spend what they've got in savings.
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