For the future, more unitary authorities could be a good solution to funding pressures – but not if it means subdividing efficiently-run counties.
The County’s seven Conservative MPs are clear that the problems are “self inflicted” due to financial mismanagement. They need to encourage new people to become councillors.
Rural areas have higher costs for services such as social care – yet we have been coping with bigger spending cuts than our urban counterparts.
We are fighting against centralising power in Edinburgh. Glaswegians want more jobs and growth – and a cleaner, greener City.
This weakening of local accountability makes it all the more important for Conservatives to offer voters a clear alternative.
The proposal is criticised for hitting the vulnerable and breaking an election pledge. Local transport schemes are also being hit.
A less bureaucratic approach will ease hardship and bring more money in. But the Government also needs to ensure equal rules apply for all that are owed money.
Councils need to use their own land to boost development – without the Mayor of London being able to get in the way.
What needs to be customised about email? Or file storage? Or even how council tax IT systems work? We can save money, improve security, and provide a better service.
More focus is needed on early intervention. It is logical to focus on managing more complex needs in a community setting and stopping people from entering hospital in the first place.
Why does a new kitchen cost £7,350 in a council flat in Hackney but £2,979 in Camden? Why does a new boiler in Lambeth cost £3,000 but £710 in Kingston?
The huge variation in costs does suggest that some councils, including mine, are likely to be paying over the odds.
Lifting the cost of unnecessary red tape for housing associations would finance 9,000 new homes a year.
There is a scandal of Councils wasting huge Public Health budgets – while refusing to fund modest schemes that would provide great benefits.
At a time of budget cuts there is an opportunity for residents to help improve value for money.