Simon Harris report on a revolution taking place in Wirral
Imagine any council led by any party for less than a month and you would not expect much. After all, people need to find their feet and get to grip with the problems.
And, boy does Wirral have problems. In mid-February the Labour Leader and his minority administration lost a motion of no confidence over the way it managed a scandal in adult services. The report into the handling of the crisis was so shocking and so appalling that residents were left wondering why Labour had to be forced out when resigning was the only honourable option.
With Lib Dem votes the Conservatives took the Leadership. An all-party cabinet was established but Labour refused to take their seats.
Last night the Conservative Leadership got its budget through and what a budget it was:
- A 3% cut to the Council Tax
- A further 11% Council Tax discount for pensioners aged over 70
- One Million Pounds restored to SureStart (cut by Labour)
- Doubled the size of the Dog Fouling Team
- Half a million extra in road safety schemes
- And a huge investment into allotments.
But there is more. From the 1st April you can now pay the Council Tax over 12 months instead of 10 thus lowering the monthly charge even further.
On a bad mobile phone line the Leader bellowed at me, ‘Well it’s the peoples money isn’t it?”
This has come about because of a Con/Lib Dem coalition that ran the council in 2010/2011 only. It made significant structural changes and the savings are just bearing fruit.
Have we found a Wandsworth in the north? We may have; but we are unlikely to know because electoral maths means Labour will probably take over all control in May; their same old madness will no doubt be restored.
The thing is, if the Tories can do this in 3 weeks imagine what can be achieved in three years!