Cllr Lorber has issued a statement on their proposed £50 million cuts and Labout Group leader Cllr Ann John has issued a refutation.
Cllr Paul Lorber:
As a result of Labour’s mismanagement Labour Councillors more than doubled the Council Tax by 2006. When we took control from Labour in 2006 the first thing we set about doing was sorting out the mess Labour left. Over the last 3 and a half years we have made the Council more efficient and made services better for local people. Instead of Labour’s huge, unplanned increases in Council Tax we have had an ordered, steady reduction in the level of increase year on year.
The latest Resident’s Attitude Survey shows that there has been a huge increase in satisfaction with the Council’s services – 65% of residents were satisfied, up from 48% in 2005. But we’re not content to stop there; we want to increase that further. We will continue to make the Council more efficient, to deliver better services and to make the borough cleaner, greener and safer. I’m pleased to say that, now we’ve planned and organised our budgets over the last 3 years we are aiming to freeze the Council Tax next year. We know how important this is to our residents in these difficult economic times.”
Cllr Ann John:
It is true that Labour increased the Council Tax from a very low base but the Liberal Democrats supported us in that and on some occasions argued for higher increases. It is also a fact that when we left office in 2006 all of the indicators including the Residents’ Attitude Survey were on an upward trajectory and the Council was heading for the top of the local authority performance league.
We now find the Chief Executive telling the Council’s senior managers that there is significant waste, duplication and inefficiency in the way we work; that there is a degree of self-satisfaction not always supported by performance; that 62% of our (performance) indicators are below average and 38% are in the lowest quartile and that there has been a particularly sharp drop in performance in the past year.
I simply ask, under whose watch has this massive deterioration occurred?