Lord Justice Pill said it was not suggested that there was an error of law in Brent reducing its expenditure on public services. “Given the scale of the spending reductions the council was required to make and the information available following earlier studies, a decision that the library service should bear a share of the reduction was not, in my judgment, unlawful.”
He said there was no doubt that the council was aware of its statutory duties. The decision as to which libraries to close was carefully considered by the council, and a “full consultation was conducted and fully reported to the decision-makers”.
He ruled that there was “no breach of duty in this case”.
(Source: The Guardian)
The full appeal judgement can be found here – LINK
No left-wing Councillor relishes making the decisions that Brent is having to make to comply with the Tory-Liberal deficit reduction plan.
Even if you believe that the cuts are necessary and that the debt should be tackled within one Parliament (The Coalition Government’s original plan A on the economy), is it fair that Brent Council has to make cuts in the region of 27-28% of our controllable budget whilst other Councils are getting more money? Brent is making a staggering £104 million cuts over the next few years. This is from a controllable budget of around £280 million. Therefore the public will expect Brent to run £280 million worth of services with around £170 million. Every cut has a cost.
Core services include streetcare, waste collection, care for the elderly and disabled, libraries, administering and facilitating a school place for every child in Brent. It is impossible for all of these to not be affected when making a £104 million worth of cuts from a £280 million budget. All of this when at the same time, demand for services is higher. As the country is struggling to overcome the economic troubles due to the banking crisis, more people are out of jobs, more people are living longer leading to an increase in demand for care services. As unemployment rises, so does crime, therefore putting more pressure on anti-social behaviour teams at Local Authorities.
How can the Brent Tory Liberals defend Brent losing out on resources while other areas are having Budget increases? I have blogged about this before LINK.
Why should Brent have to cut more than others? If Brent Tory Liberal Councillors do blame Labour for creating the deficit as they have done at Council meetings and the Coalition Government are holier than thou, are they still defending the level of cuts to Brent compared to others and supporting the damage made to Brent while other Councils are being given more money?