The right of every English man and woman that their chicken tikka masala, the nation’s favourite dish, the remnants can be put in the bin without the worry that a fortnight later it is rotting and making life unpleasant.

Eric Pickles, British politician and Chairman ...
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More than half of all councils have switched to fortnightly collections over the past few years. Eric Pickles has pledged £250million fund to help local Councils switch to weekly collections.

Eric Pickles has justified this as a Government priority by saying that  “I firmly believe that it is the right of every English man and woman that there chicken tikka masala, the nation’s favourite dish, the remnants can be put in the bin without the worry that a fortnight later it is rotting and making life unpleasant.”

At the same time, other rights such as the right to vote is being attacked by the Conservative and Lib Dem Coalition Government.

However Eric Pickles will be delighted that under Brent’s Waste Strategy, he can enjoy his chicken tikka masala on a Friday night, put any leftover waste in his food waste bin and have it collected weekly. His food waste under Brent’s system will be recycled as organic waste weekly. If he wishes to put it in his grey bin which is for non-recyclable material however, it will be collected fortnightly.

But it makes no sense for him to do that as he has the option to put it in his green bin and have it collected weekly.

Hope that makes sense.

27% – £98 Million Cuts to Brent Council

Before the elections, we did know that we would have to make £50 million cuts. After the elections, this figure grew in the region of £63 million. The June 2010 Emergency Budget and the Comprehensive Spending Review as well as yesterday’s announcement from Eric Pickles has pushed this up to a massive £98 million plus. We cannot touch Council Tax.

Our Council Budget is around £284 million. Taking £98 million out of a £280 million budget is terrifying when you come to think about it.

Sarah Teather’s ConDem Government’s cuts are deceptive. The Comprehensive Spending Review said that Government cuts were around 19%. However, we in Brent have to make cuts of around 27% over the next four years. This is typical Tory treachery as the difference in the figures show that these cuts are designed to have the face of Local Government plastered across them.

There are Authorities that are less organised than us and to be fair with the previous administration processes that they started setting in motion mean that we have already delivered £10 million in savings. In that sense, we are in a better place than other Boroughs.

The cuts are front-loaded. Next year, we have to make £36.7 million in savings. The One Council programme will deliver £21 million of this which means that we have to somehow find £16 million from somewhere. In 2012 we will have to make further cuts of around £24 million; £14.5 million in 2013 and £23 million in 2014. As you can see, compared to local services, high earners are not even being touched by the cuts.

Creating a Pickle

In addition to the Building Schools for the Future cut from the Lib Dem Tory coalition Government, there were also local government cuts announced by Department for Communities and Local Government Secretary of State Eric Pickles.

The total amount that Brent will have to cut in this financial year as a result of the Con-Dem Coalition Government’s Budget is £2.25 million.  The largest element of this is the Education based grant reduction of £1.88 million (pdf. LINK).

Council Leader, Cllr. Ann John OBE, told a recent meeting of Labour Party members that it was too early for precise details of the impact of this cut to be worked through yet, but the Council would endeavour to protect services and save as many front line jobs as possible.  Some job losses appeared inevitable.

What’s more, is the conduct of the Government in announcing the cuts. Local Authorities were not contacted to be made aware of the cuts that they were being dished out. Instead they were left to find out through media sources.