Wednesday, 13 January 2010

2010 council budget - cuts, including to sheltered housing

The Times series reports on last night's Barnet council cabinet meeting which agreed its budget headlines for 2010-11.

£15m cuts to balance Barnet's budget while council tax remains static

By Sarah Cosgrove

ADULT and children's services and the environment are the main losers in this year's proposed budget as councillors struggle to keep council tax at current levels and cope with rising costs.

Read more.

I wish I had time to comment on the details; I do have time to mention that the council has had to put back into its spending some of the savings it had hoped to make on abolishing the sheltered housing wardens. This is because, owing to the legal challenge, they haven't been able to terminate the contracts they have with housing providers for warden services as quickly as they expected.

Please note, however, that they had expected to save £400,000 over the year, and have now budgeted that they will save £300,000. That means they expect to press ahead with their plans soon. Will they appeal the decision against them, as Portsmouth council has? Will they win an appeal? Would the political price be worth paying, in the run-up to the council elections? These are all calculations for them to make. For our part, we know what we will be doing - carrying on our campaign to save the wardens!

Postscript. I don't dislike the Times series half as much as the Barnet Eye does. I think the journos do a pretty good job under, what I suspect, is some political pressure, but I do wish they would sub their online articles better. Some of the budget article simply didn't make sense.

1 comment:

Rog T said...


I don't hate the Times and I like all of the journalists there I've had dealings with there. I just think it has an awful editorial policy with regards to exposing the ineptitude of the Barnet Conservative Council. I like to think that I'm helpfully encouraging them to do a wonderful job.

Lets face it, what is the point of a local paper if it doesn't highlight matters of public interest?