Trafford Council are implementing huge cuts to their budget despite being sheltered from the worst of reductions in Government Funding compared to the most deprived areas like Manchester and Salford. The Conservative draft budget shows savage cuts to all service areas. At the same time, the numbers of directors continues to grow, glossy magazines continue to be distributed and the Town Hall offices are being replaced.
As the following table shows, nearly £5m is being axed from the Children’s and Young Service Budget and over £6m from Communities and Well Being including nearly £4m being cut from services for older people.
Draft 2011/12 Budget
|Proposed Budget 2011/12 £000||
|Children & Young People||27,450||(4,953)|
|Communities & Well Being||56,560||(6,241)|
|Economic Growth & Prosperity||3,106||(1,055)|
|Environment, Transport & Operations*||28,390||(766)|
|Transformation & Resources||15,805||(1,983)|
|Total All Services||158,903||(10,174)|
What the table doesn’t show is the continued intention to handover £21m to Lancashire Cricket Club, the Conservative Council’s pet-scheme. Children’s centres are expendable whilst an Ashes Test is perceived as vital.
The cuts will mean front-line staff are sacrificed but the ever increasing number of Directors need new Town Hall accommodation at a revenue cost of £1.4m a year (for the next three decades).
The Government are asking Councils to look at their senior Directors and explore sharing the senior teams with other Councils. How can we justify such excessive expenditure on the Town Hall if we can’t guarantee we’ll need it more than a few years into the future? The local Tories argue that their grandiose plans will be cheaper than patching up and making do, but the cuts we’re suffering now will continue in a calculated assault into the coming years. Clearly we can’t guarantee what sort of Town Hall is going to be suitable, or the numbers of senior management needing offices in Trafford. The present expansion of the senior management is not sustainable in even the medium team. We’re going to face a time quite soon when there’s so many ‘Generals’, we’ll not have any ‘soldiers’ to man the front-line.