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Dizzy

Council Cost Cutting ???

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Good to see the council trying to save money, become more efficient .. and also draw in new funds to cover their ?7 million budget shortfall....

:roll:

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I would suggest that games in the park, would reduce the use of the parks as most users have no income, and that car parking charges will drive more people to shop elsewhere.

WHY reduce services yet still raise rates?

Surely the increase should be sufficient to maintain services.

 

Are they looking at the freebie system, where millions in council tax are not collected or are allegedly subsidising those living on income support?

Help is one thing, charity another.

Do we need all the cllrs?

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Wouldn't a more sensible and altogether more palatable starting point to be to review the salaries given to Councillors, their fees for attending meetings etc. and relate this to actual performance / attendance? At least this way there would be an incentive for these bozo's to up their game. As has been suggested, what about a cull of their numbers, it's just a gravy train.

 

Sponsoring roundabouts etc. is all well and good as I have little doubt that the Council will grant itself advertising consent for these signs. Upping parking fines is another good idea, since it would deter those pillocks who routinely cause traffic problems by parking inconsiderately.

 

What about looking at those departments that routinely overspend (e.g. Education) and firing the pillocks who can't handle budgets and replacing them with someone who can? Cheap and easy solution right there!

 

As Dismayed points out, selling land for development is a ready source of income but I have little doubt that the Council would sell the wrong land for the wrong sort of development in the wrong place :roll:

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:D:D ... like the last sentence McBain.. sums them up nicely. :D:D

 

As others have said 'Do we really need all the councillors?' Made me wonder if there is any way of members of the public, for example, finding out...

 

How many actual councillors there are and at what grade /salary band?

 

What they all do / are responsible for and wether any jobs they do are duplicated in some way ?

 

Wether their responsibilites actually take up the full working week ?

 

And of course the expense costs claimed by the councillors themselves plus what they are for etc.

 

And finally how much of what they are responsible for is actually done by lower paid office staff?

 

Oooh and then there's the heads, acting heads, assistant heads of this that and the other departments... and the departments with different names that all seem to do the same thing.... :roll:

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http://www.warrington.gov.uk/Images/MEMBERS_SCHEME_OF_ALLOWANCES_2007-08draft_tcm31-10632.pdf

 

Basic ?7,350 less tax and NI....no wonder Councillors tend to be of a certain age group etc.

 

Council Leader ?26,000

 

Council Chief Executive ?200,000 package

 

Makes you think. :wink:

 

 

Wonder how few officers and members WBC could survive with.

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:wink:

 

One point I was amazed about is that the Mayor receives an allowance of ?15,313 :roll:

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By all means reduce expenditure on the politicians circ - ?500,000; reduce their numbers from 57 (approx 3 per 8,000 voters); but yer still have to find another ?6million or so. :wink:

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Agreed Observer :D:D

 

Cllr Marks also stated that "If anyone can come up with an idea to save money or improve efficiency, we will be prepared to listen.

 

Do you recon they would actually listen if we and others all put any of our suggestions to them :roll:

 

The words 'we will be prepared to listen' seems a little odd and somewhat derogatory, as if they will be doing people a favour by listening... despite the fact that they had already decided what action was being taken :roll:

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Originally posted by Dismayed:

:wink:

 

The Leader will get the basic Councillor's allowance of ?7,350 + the additional responsibility allowance. In the case of the current Leader he was a senior Executive at Pilkington Glass before retiring. As I understand it he does work fulltime for his ?26,000 hence my comparison with the Chief Execs ?200,000 package.

 

It is crass to expect somebody to work fulltime for ?7,350 and actually ignoring the personalities for one moment, given the responsibility that a Council Leader has, in what are meant to be Member run organisations, then ?26,000 is dire as well. The whole pay structure for Councillors needs to be looked as, as does the work they do, time they spend and their qualifications to do that job. The days of amateurs, albeit well meaning ones, running ?400 million organisations should be a thing of the past.

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If he's retired then I can only guess he receives a rather handsome pensions from Pilkingtons and the council job is just a bit extra on the side so to speak and something to pass his time in retirement.

 

No-one in their right mind would do that job for ?26,000 :wink:

 

Blummin' heck we get a lot more than that for what we do :wink:

 

So I guess Councillor's jobs are only really suited for the retired or rich after all :wink:

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Isn't the problem that, those that are in full time employment, can only pay lip service to the job in comparison to those who are unemployed or retired?

 

Do we "need" any cllrs, given the contact that we have available with the Council?

 

[ 07.01.2008, 22:32: Message edited by: Peter ]

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Cllrs are a huge waste of money from the public purse. What purpose do they serve? They attend meetings and discuss items that have already been decided on by the heads of departments.

We know that a Cllr can and often does act as an intermediary between the people and a council department. Getting jobs done that the council do anyway.

So where do they justify claiming the money, wages and expenses that they take from the purse. Certainly council meetings cannot be called work by any stretch of the imagination. Free for all insults is more like it.

The position is historic and I accept that we cannot (maybe) get rid of them all together. But certainly cut the amount to about 5 for the whole town. And pay them an hourly rate. ?11 an hour.

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Originally posted by Peter:

Isn't the problem that, those that are in full time employment, can only pay lip service to the job in comparison to those who are unemployed or retired?

 

Do we "need" any cllrs, given the contact that we have available with the Council?

All a question of democracy Peter. Your first paragraph hits the nail on the head.

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The problem with many of the costs that the Council incur is that they are determined by national or international government, and not normally fully funded or are punitive in ther nature. Couple of examples:

 

Central Government offered free bus travel for OAPs and funded local government based on historic information. Result, a shortfall in funding having to be met by the like of WBC, possibly to the tun of several million pounds a year;

 

The EU determines that waste should not go to landfill and that any that does should be subject to a tax. WBC is therefore "fined" currently ?24 per tonne for the waste it sends to landfill, in 2008 it rises to ?32 and by 2010 it will be ?48. With a population of 200,000 we send a lot of waste to landfill!

 

I notice in an earlier post Observer says that illegal car parking and litter dropping should be penalised so that its enforcement is at least cost neutral, and indeed so it should be. But that isn't really at the heart of WBC and other local authorities' cost problems, it is as indicated above, costs imposed on them from other forms of government.

 

Now, some might argue that "we" need to pay more tax, firstly who are the "we" and secondly the UK is already a high tax country and many people now do not believe that further taxation will produce directly proportionate improvements in state provided services.

 

Coming back to the cost of Councillors and the like. The difficulty with such discussions is that they tend to be quite personalised and subjective rather than objective. Interestingly and because it is part of a political communication exercise I'm involved with, many voters do not realise that their Borough Councillors are paid at all.....and some have extra and substantial payments for being a member of the Police or Fire Authority. Such information does it seems, rightly alter how voters see their Councillors. :wink:

 

PS Dismayed, Parish Councillors as such are unpaid...in our area.

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Observer.... haven't we already got a similar group of people in power :wink:

 

ie... 'What we say goes, and there's bugger all you, the people, can do about it' :o

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Just curious, but when all the crown jewels have been sold(Wilderspool, the baths etc) and savings and cutbacks can happen no more, "WHAT" action will take place?

As I have mentioned on numerous occasions about reducing services, things will get to a level where the town and the inner wards become a mess.

Where is it all heading?

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Very good point indeed Peter and makes you think..

 

It's ok selling off buildings, land, greenbelt and the like for quick fix monetary gain and development but like you say sooner or later there will be nothing left to sell :wink:

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The normal political vision doesn't stretch beyond the next election; therefore sell-offs are attractive - problem is, wheels have a habit of turnining full circle. EG; Selling off Council Housing - and now we need 'em. :wink:

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Its alright saying that the council is dictated too by EU government policy. So are France, Spain and Cyprus but if there is something they dont like nationally they just ignore it and nothing happens.

Here in England we do everything by the book and are the laughing stock, there is nothing really to be proud of having the title Rip of Britain.

 

I quite agree with things like the landfill tax, Warrington does very well out of the tax returns for having two very big landfill sites, in fact I hope to get some big grants off the scheme. but little effort is put into punitive measures on the manufacture of packaging and the distributors use of it.

Also the council do very little here to ensure that people do recycle. Manchester has got more people interested in their recycling programme and help the households to do it. Apart from paper what do Warrington do?.. Private companies provide bottle banks, cardboard skips, plastic skips, the council cannot be bothered keeping the sites clean. We are very good at recycling so much so that we could do away with the dustbin all together really and take our two carrier bags a week somewhere.

 

What about if we turned it around and all recycle stuff was collected and you had to take your own rubbish to the tip?

 

Do the USA have local councillors? Or are they just on an elected mayor.

I would certainly be in favour of that or Mayor and deputy elected on alternate years so you get continuity. A full time job with power over all the departments. It used to be something like that here 50 years ago when the mayor was an important and powerful person of the town.

 

How would we get rid of all the councillors anyway? If we had an election voting for or against councillors would people vote?

I would be waiting at the door.

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Originally posted by observer:

The normal political vision doesn't stretch beyond the next election; therefore sell-offs are attractive - problem is, wheels have a habit of turnining full circle. EG; Selling off Council Housing - and now we need 'em. :wink:

You are right, and evidence suggests that public bodies never get the best prices for their/our assets or choose the best time to sell, Mr Brown's gold sell off being a classic. Ultimately I suppose when local authorities have stripped the cupboard bare, national government will be able to impose far greater controls over them, with Councillors left to argue over which biscuits the Council should buy. :wink:

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