An interesting interview with the Tory Liberal Government’s flagship Minister
The graph above published in the Guardian shows the change in spending power in pounds per person, compared to the England average. It shows a redistribution in resources from Labour areas to Tory Councils. It is no surprise that Newcastle City Council has called for an independent method of funding allocation to local Councils to end political bias in Council funding from central Government.
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.
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles has agreed to the demolition of Dollis Hill House.
It is a sad state of affairs that the situation has deteriorated to this extent. I think it is an important part of history in Dolls Hill. But I do also understand that over the years, it has cost a lot in public money to keep it totally unused and nothing viable has come forward, after many years.
The repeated fires to the House including one a few weeks ago has made the current situation even more untenable.
I spoke to a local resident who mentioned that there was a good opportunity around 15 years ago, when Beefeater were keen to develop it into a pub / restaurant. But according to my constituent, a scare story developed that they would tarmac a huge section of the park and after a backlash from local people, they were scared away.
The truth behind this, I do not know. But I can be forgiven as I was probably in Primary School at the time!
No date has been confirmed for its demolition yet.
80 senior Lib Dem Councillors across the country have spoken out against the Coalition spending plans, saying that they are too much and too fast. Brent is being forced to cut £104 million out of a budget of £260 million over the next four years.
LINK to article on BBC
I’d like to recommend Lisa Nandy MP’s article which highlights that local authorities around the country – and may I add regardless of political affiliation – are being placed in great difficulty to meet the Government’s frontloaded cuts targets without affecting frontline services.
The Coalition Government’s cuts are just too deep and forcing the removal of vital frontline services such as libraries. In fact in Brent 6 are due to close, one of which, I am a regular user of, located within my Ward. It is unfortunate to have such a vital local service removed because of national decisions having local consequences.
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.
If anyone had any doubts that these cuts are ideological and out to hit areas most in need this article says it all.
While Brent is having to make cuts in the region of 27%, areas where deprivation is not prominent such as Tunbridge Wells and West Oxfordshire will see their budgets increase by similar levels. This is not fair. Why should Brent have to pay for Budget increases in richer areas.
Civil servants have realised this but there seems to be no desire from the Treasury to budge on this according to the report.
Our MP Sarah Teather was critical of everyone but herself when this development was being pushed forward by Barnet Council and Mayor of London Boris Johnson seemed in favour of it.
Lets look at the facts. Labour Secretary of State John Denham called in the developed and it was put on hold. A few months later Sarah Teather and Eric Pickles are Government Ministers and the Development gets the go ahead. All of a sudden Sarah Teather is silent on the issue.