Just republishing the most sobering interview of the week with Cllr Richard Samuel – who is deputy leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council – in case anyone has missed the opportunity of listening to it.
He went on Twitter to say B&NES faces a £53 m deficit this year and is planning an emergency budget for June ‘which is bound to make painful reading.’
He told me the shortfall will wipe out the council’s reserves and warned that – on a national level – local government was in serious danger of collapse with some authorities facing effective bankruptcy.
In a Zoom interview l asked him where the money had gone.
I fear the English government is even not supporting some of its London councils. New thinking, new acting, and new dynamics need to happen. I wish Bath all the very best.
We need more youngsters too. Greta Thunberg, representing the younger generations who already suffered from old thinking and old normal, was a great idea by CNN.
But here we need our Youth Parliament to have power, and that will benefit people of all ages.
There is, sadly, no such thing as an English government – there hasn’t been one since the early 18th century … and I doubt Ms Thunberg could offer useful advice to local councils, which are clearly facing major financial problems.
On March 19, the government announced £1.6 billion of additional funding for local government to help them respond to pressures across all the services they deliver.
A further £1.6 billion in additional funding was announced on April 18, taking the total given to councils to more than £3.2 billion.
Does the deficit envisaged by Councillor Samuel take account of the £10 million received so far? If not, how much more from that £3.2 billion promised funding expect?
It was encouraging , better late than never, to hear Coun. Samuel accept that the town has become too reliant on tourism.
As to the deficit, this will be an opportunity to, among other things, a) axe council spending on projects and programmes that look good on paper and make councillors feel better but are inessential b) think again about the pros and cons of its membership of the West of England Combined Authority (whose chief executive is a paid a salary larger than the prime minister’s) c) oblige senior council officials to accept lower salaries and d) as an example, reduce allowances received by councillors.
Comments are closed.