Recent projections are showing a worrying picture for local government in the future. Let me introduce you to the Barnet ‘Graph of Doom’.
It is projected that if cuts continue the way that they are going at the moment and factoring in the demographic changes with people living longer, all that Councils will be doing in the future is looking after the most vulnerable in society.
Without fundamental reform, Brent and other Councils will simply have to totally stop providing some services full stop. We will no longer be able to provide all our statutory obligations. Without fundamental reform in funding formulas, Councils will at some stage in the future be writing to Central Government, requesting to remove some statutory obligations.
The Guardian writes that in relation to Barnet (but this does apply to Councils like Brent too) that they “will be unable to provide any services except adult social care and children’s services. No libraries, no parks, no leisure centres – not even bin collections.”
The Brent Labour Party showed overwhelming support to the North West London light railway system. The scheme can be built on networks that already exist. Sadly, the Brent cross development put forward in Barnet would build over this potential network.
Read Cllr Shafique Choudhary’s take on it here – LINK – with more information on something that would be brilliant to have for Brent residents.
Interesting piece in the Financial Times:
” Radical cost-cutting proposals by Conservative-controlled councils such as Barnet, Essex, and Hammersmith and Fulham are refuelling the Thatcherite debate about the role of the state and could provide a national blueprint for an incoming Conservative Government.
Leading Tory councils are rethinking the provision of local public services, including parks, libraries, and street cleaning, as they confront a severe squeeze on public spending of up to 20 per cent in the years ahead. ”
Source: Financial Times
Much is said over the assumption that there is not much difference between the mainstream political parties. However, historically, the Conservatives have shown stronger support for the market knows best approach, and it seems that this is still a strong ethos held my many in the Party.
However, this approach leads to poor provision of public services as it leads to society being run on the principle that for services to be provided, a profit must be made.
Recent financial strains may mean that public spending cuts may be an inevitable for all administrations, irrespective of which Party is in charge. However, cuts just for the sake of it is the wrong route to take. Instead what we need is for our Local Authorities, and even Government to provide value for money and radical cuts in key services such as parks, libraries and street cleaning is the wrong approach.