After the Daily Mail yesterday another pasting for Manchester City Council's wasteful spending. Today it comes in the Sunday Times which says (£) that "council chiefs are engaged in the equivalent of shroud-waving, making highly visible cuts to the services people know and value, rather than taking an axe to their own bureaucracies.
Those bureaucracies grew fat and unaffordable in Labour’s years of plenty. Even during the economic crisis, when private firms cut costs to the bone to survive, councils carried on building town hall empires. Since 2006 the number of staff on Liverpool city council earning more than £100,000 a year has risen from 11 to 24. “Austerity” Manchester has doubled its staff earning six-figure salaries.
The paper also has a YouGov poll. It asks who is "mostly to blame for cuts to local council services." 27% says councils, 29% central Government and 37% both. Another question was:
Given the size of the deficit, do you think the cuts to council services are necessary or unnecessary?
48% said necessary, while 31% said unnecessary. If the question had said "local council spending" rather than "local council services" it would have been a better wording.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles will be pleased to see that 78% believe senior manager in local councils are paid too much. (1% feel they are paid too little.) While there is agreement, by 42% to 30%, that "councils run by opposition parties have deliberately made cuts for party political reasons."