Author Topic: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11  (Read 5760 times)

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Offline ph1lc

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2010, 01:21:54 pm »
Agree with you about outsourcing Rochelle.

There was a BBC report earlier in the week on Coventry Council, who are bringing services back in house to save money.

Offline Spectre

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2010, 03:46:02 pm »
They have forgotten a few others:

Not kicking the street traders out of the town centre.

Saving £40,000

Start charging rent on prime office space in town centre to Digital City

Saving £20,000 (at least, probably more)

Thinking about it a bit more, that is £180,000 over three years. Not to be sniffed at.

I'll tell what would make a significant contribution and that is the £450,000 loan to Digital City - now that would make a bit of a difference!  - but you know that already.  I wonder how long it will be before it is written off?



You can write it off now Richard. It will save you worrying about it for the next two years. :'(

Worry about the here and now.

Take note of what Rochelle has posted. It's only the start. >:(




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Offline Drone

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2010, 04:59:25 pm »
Cllr Edwards' budget commentary:

Quote
It is only right that when we look to save money, the search begins within the council and, in the budget that takes us up to the end of March 2012, we have made every effort to do this.

In fact, we have been ruthless over the past four years in extracting the maximum value from everything we do and finding £36 million worth of efficiencies. This has allowed us to keep council tax in Swindon at one of lowest levels in the whole of the South and Southwest and, this year, we want to keep council tax increase as low as possible.

Inevitably, we have had to reduce the number of council jobs as part of this process. Although we have done our best to find reductions from posts that are currently vacant, it’s not been possible in every case. Making people redundant is never easy, and we recognise the huge effect this can have on the people concerned. Nevertheless, we have not shied away from these tough decisions and, in total, 237 posts will potentially go this year.

We have also reduced the number of senior managers (Group Directors and Directors) by a third since 2008, from 26 to 17, and at the same time we have reduced our management costs by 12% to reflect the shrinking of the council overall. In addition, we continue to work with our public sector partners to join up resources and drive out duplication, and we are constantly reviewing our contracts with outside suppliers to make sure we are getting maximum value for money.

Unfortunately, we’re now at the point where this approach just isn’t going to be enough in future. Radical new thinking is required if we’re to find all of the £45million in savings.

The Council is committed to leading and stimulating a debate about the changes that will inevitably be needed over the coming years. What will the council of the future look like? What will it do? How will it provide its services?

That debate will pose some searching questions. For example, there is a need to examine all areas where council tax payers are subsidising users of specific services or facilities, to make sure those subsidies are targeted and beneficial. We all need to ask ourselves whether it is right:

•that Swindon Card discounts are available to people who do not live in the Borough?
•that the Council spends £2.6million a year picking up litter, removing graffiti, clearing abandoned vehicles and cleaning streets, largely because of anti-social behaviour? To what extent does the wider community have to take responsibility for its neighbourhoods?
•that approximately £2 million a year is spent subsidising leisure and recreation facilities, including the Link and Oasis? These subsidies amount to 55p per visit to recreation services, and 71p for each use of leisure services.
•that the Council subsidises ticket prices through its financial support for the Wyvern Theatre and the Arts Centre, which total £421,000 a year, or up to £3 per visit?
•that the council spends nearly £800,000 a year to leave street-lights and traffic lights on all night?
•that the council currently provides services for free which could be commercialised to cover the cost of running them?
•that the Council should be working towards a zero Council Tax increase over the next few years?
It has never been more important for the council and local people to work together to understand the challenges we all face, and identify the opportunities to do things differently in the future. No decisions have been made, and this list is not by any means exhaustive, but it demonstrates the type of debate that needs to happen.

A comprehensive consultation and engagement plan will be launched later in the year, so that as many people as possible can be involved in the discussion about these issues.
derp derp herp herp derp

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2010, 07:45:38 pm »
I repeat my original question

Now will someone please tell me why It is necessary to shave £5.3m off the budget when the Government has reduced our funding by a mere £1.4m? 

Will Mark Edwards please explain how this relates to his statement for his 2010/11 budget back in February when he said

‘This is a budget that marks our final promotion from the bottom division of poor performing councils to the cusp of being in the premier league of England’s best.

It is a budget that protects vital public services for the elderly and the vulnerable.

It is a budget that protects local residents.

It is a budget that protects staff; with fewer redundancies than many other councils are proposing.’

SO JUST WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MISSING £3.9M?

Is it Mark Edwards for not being able to add up, the Tories trying to persuade the people of Swindon to elect two Tory MP’s or was it incompetent financial management by the respective Lead Members?

I just cannot reconscile last Thursday night with what I heard last February, if Mark Edwards' and his Lead Members who spend his budget are not responsible then who is?

I think it would have been better for all the officers and staff to suggest savings but then what do I know?


Offline Mart

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2010, 07:52:50 pm »
Now will someone please tell me why It is necessary to shave £5.3m off the budget when the Government has reduced our funding by a mere £1.4m?

You seen the cost of free WiFi lately?

Actually, I'm not sue that's funny.
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Offline Spectre

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2010, 08:26:07 pm »
Cllr Edwards' budget commentary:

Quote
It is only right that when we look to save money, the search begins within the council and, in the budget that takes us up to the end of March 2012, we have made every effort to do this.

In fact, we have been ruthless over the past four years in extracting the maximum value from everything we do and finding £36 million worth of efficiencies. This has allowed us to keep council tax in Swindon at one of lowest levels in the whole of the South and Southwest and, this year, we want to keep council tax increase as low as possible.

Inevitably, we have had to reduce the number of council jobs as part of this process. Although we have done our best to find reductions from posts that are currently vacant, it’s not been possible in every case. Making people redundant is never easy, and we recognise the huge effect this can have on the people concerned. Nevertheless, we have not shied away from these tough decisions and, in total, 237 posts will potentially go this year.

We have also reduced the number of senior managers (Group Directors and Directors) by a third since 2008, from 26 to 17, and at the same time we have reduced our management costs by 12% to reflect the shrinking of the council overall. In addition, we continue to work with our public sector partners to join up resources and drive out duplication, and we are constantly reviewing our contracts with outside suppliers to make sure we are getting maximum value for money.

Unfortunately, we’re now at the point where this approach just isn’t going to be enough in future. Radical new thinking is required if we’re to find all of the £45million in savings.

The Council is committed to leading and stimulating a debate about the changes that will inevitably be needed over the coming years. What will the council of the future look like? What will it do? How will it provide its services?

That debate will pose some searching questions. For example, there is a need to examine all areas where council tax payers are subsidising users of specific services or facilities, to make sure those subsidies are targeted and beneficial. We all need to ask ourselves whether it is right:

•that Swindon Card discounts are available to people who do not live in the Borough?
•that the Council spends £2.6million a year picking up litter, removing graffiti, clearing abandoned vehicles and cleaning streets, largely because of anti-social behaviour? To what extent does the wider community have to take responsibility for its neighbourhoods?
•that approximately £2 million a year is spent subsidising leisure and recreation facilities, including the Link and Oasis? These subsidies amount to 55p per visit to recreation services, and 71p for each use of leisure services.
•that the Council subsidises ticket prices through its financial support for the Wyvern Theatre and the Arts Centre, which total £421,000 a year, or up to £3 per visit?
•that the council spends nearly £800,000 a year to leave street-lights and traffic lights on all night?
•that the council currently provides services for free which could be commercialised to cover the cost of running them?
•that the Council should be working towards a zero Council Tax increase over the next few years?
It has never been more important for the council and local people to work together to understand the challenges we all face, and identify the opportunities to do things differently in the future. No decisions have been made, and this list is not by any means exhaustive, but it demonstrates the type of debate that needs to happen.

A comprehensive consultation and engagement plan will be launched later in the year, so that as many people as possible can be involved in the discussion about these issues.


Lets take a quick look at the above;

Swindon Card; The card for non-residents is paid for, generally, at double to that of residents, min.£10 max.£30.
                        Facilities expenditure is the same generally, if it's maintained and staffed. Surely the more people that use
                         it keeps it open for the benefit of everyone.

Litter/street cleaning etc; Street cleaning, litter bins have always been part of a SERVICE paid for from rates so is not new
                         expenditure. Scrap merchants will collect and dispose of wrecked cars for nothing. Their costs recouped
                         from the recycling merchant.

Leisure/recreation facilities; Again, this is something a thriving, goahead town expects to be provided and was always, in
                         the past , budgeted into the rates for the good of the residents. Make them good so more people use
                         them and it needs less subsidy.

Street lighting; A saving is possible here. Main road lighting on through routes ie. Great Western Way, Thamesdown Drive,
                         Cirencester Way, Drakes Way and Queens Drive would probably be acceptable after 23.30 but not estate
                         roads where peoples expectations are that of a feeling of security. Traffic lights, not the way some drivers
                         use the roads.

Free services;   Tell me what they are and I'll comment

Council Tax;      Zero increases would be great but we don't live in a Utopian society. Don't cut services to the vulnerable
                         in our society AND ask us to pay more.

If, later in the year, you or anyone you know is contacted to take part in "A comprehensive consultation please...........

                                           LET US ALL KNOW !!!


In the meantime,I'll keep watching  :angel:

Offline Spectre

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2010, 08:31:23 pm »
Sorry my last posting was so scruffy but I'm still getting used to the setup.

C- Must do better.






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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2010, 10:16:02 pm »
Thanks for that Rochelle. For the record I agree with everything you've said although I'm going to use just two sentences to raise a point of interest.

You can redesign services all you like, you can't redesign people. So, if your redesigning is genuinely people-centred, it will only ever cost more. If your redesigning is essentially a cost-cutting exercise, people WILL suffer and die.

Swindon Borough Council are currently preparing to 'offer for tender' the work currently done by Swindon Dial a Ride which is supported by an annual grant from the Council.

At SDAR's (Swindon Dial A Ride) annual meeting Councillors Peter Mallinson and Garry Perkins took part in a question and answer session with both members of the SDAR charity and users of the services SDAR currently provides.

Councillor Mallinson confirmed that the 'weighting' which would be used to assess bids, (from potential service providers - SCS, Thamesdown, Rikki Hunt Inc, etc.), for the annual grant from SBC is as depicted below:



50 % on price

15 % on charging policy

15 % on services provided

15 % on 'quality'

5 % on 'added value'


Using weightings like these I suggest that the lowest bidder will win and, if SBC's approach to cuts across all service areas is 50% dominated by price, we can, as Rochelle says, expect people to die as a result.

We will have to hold responsible to account as best we can because I'm already sure they won't hold themselves responsible.

(We're still waiting Mavis)


Offline bobwright

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2010, 12:08:30 am »
Just to clear up a couple of things for readers. At the pre-budget Cabinet meeting I asked the Conservative Administration to clarify whether they had made savings of either £40 Million, £36 Million or £30 Million over the 4 previous years. I asked which one should I believe, Rod said the £30 Million. Within a sentence £10 Million of stated savings were wiped out. A little latter Gary said the £36 Million was more accurate, however I have seen no supporting evidence for the accuracy of this figure.

At the budget recast meeting I gave a reminder of this change. Des Moffat also stated that claiming savings based on scrapping previous Adminstration plans were not real savings. I also calculated that the £45 Million savings to be made was an exaggeration and the figure was closer to £32 million. Des Moffat went through the Administrations past financial figures and found the projected figures should be just below £32 Million. He stated this at the recast meeting. Further he exposed the £2.4 shortfall should not have occured based on the assurances given at the pre-election budget meeting. Des stated the cuts were not all necessary and they were ideological cuts. Table 1 on page 24 of the Recast Budget meeting papers show the Conservatives are creating a £3 million plus surplus in this year. Or put another way using fears and haste to make ideological cuts leading to job losses and unecessary hardship.

Offline Steve Wakefield

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #29 on: October 21, 2010, 09:23:02 am »
Just to clear up a couple of things for readers. At the pre-budget Cabinet meeting I asked the Conservative Administration to clarify whether they had made savings of either £40 Million, £36 Million or £30 Million over the 4 previous years. I asked which one should I believe, Rod said the £30 Million. Within a sentence £10 Million of stated savings were wiped out. A little latter Gary said the £36 Million was more accurate, however I have seen no supporting evidence for the accuracy of this figure.

At the budget recast meeting I gave a reminder of this change. Des Moffat also stated that claiming savings based on scrapping previous Adminstration plans were not real savings. I also calculated that the £45 Million savings to be made was an exaggeration and the figure was closer to £32 million. Des Moffat went through the Administrations past financial figures and found the projected figures should be just below £32 Million. He stated this at the recast meeting. Further he exposed the £2.4 shortfall should not have occured based on the assurances given at the pre-election budget meeting. Des stated the cuts were not all necessary and they were ideological cuts. Table 1 on page 24 of the Recast Budget meeting papers show the Conservatives are creating a £3 million plus surplus in this year. Or put another way using fears and haste to make ideological cuts leading to job losses and unecessary hardship.

Thanks Bob for thr clarification O0
All posts on this forum are my own and do not represent the views of any council or any political party.  :banana:

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2010, 10:35:51 am »
I think we should have a new section on this site Geoff headed

WHERE THEY WASTE OUR MONEY

Can I please start with the disastrous Drove Road modifications where there has been no noticeable reduction in speed and something that could have been achieved by the erection of the barriers on their own.  Was it really necessary to spend £100k here?

Will someone please explain to me why our Transport budget is being run in such a cavalier fashion and at a time when we are cutting services to the elderly? 

Perhaps Councillor Peter Greenhalgh can initiate savings by turning off some of those B""""y traffic lights that do nothing but cause congestion and when they fail there is a noticeable easing of traffic flow.  How can that be possible?

Can Councillor Greenhalgh can come on here and explain his policies? 

and if he needs to be shown where he can save money I would be happy to oblige and my fee would be £49,999 so he would be saving a £1.  Well folks that is how they spin it :spin: don't they?

Offline Mellon

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2010, 02:26:35 pm »
Cllr Greenhalgh will not come to Talk Swindon as he does not like it due to people questioning where he went on 'holiday' aka the council trip to Holland?
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Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2010, 03:28:35 pm »
Cllr Greenhalgh will not come to Talk Swindon as he does not like it due to people questioning where he went on 'holiday' aka the council trip to Holland?

What's this all about Mellon, surely not yet another waste of our money?  You know you want to tell us all about it and put it in

WHERE THEY WASTE OUR MONEY

Which budget did it come out of - Transport or Culture?

Incidentally, what are the cuts to the Transport budget in terms of Highways etc? 

Never mind your mate Betsy maybe he should be renamed Prudence!

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2010, 03:38:53 pm »
Talking of trips to Holland reminds me of my school friend who took his wife to see the 'ladies in the windows' in Amsterdam.

Sorry to go off piste on what is a very serious subject, but I just couln't resist it!!

Offline Bobby Bingo

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2010, 05:00:40 pm »
Was he singing two lips from Amsterdam.
I suppose you could liken Liitle Boy Bluh to the small boy that kept his finger in the dyke, or is that sexist,
Rod keeps his in his ear to shut our the bad news.
Bobby

Offline Drone

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2010, 05:18:58 pm »
Quote
Inevitably, we have had to reduce the number of council jobs as part of this process. Although we have done our best to find reductions from posts that are currently vacant, it’s not been possible in every case. Making people redundant is never easy, and we recognise the huge effect this can have on the people concerned. Nevertheless, we have not shied away from these tough decisions and, in total, 237 posts will potentially go this year.

The bravery of those cutting council jobs. Brings a tear to the eye.
derp derp herp herp derp

Offline Tea Boy

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2010, 10:04:28 pm »
In amongst all the front line staff being cut, has any one actually seen or heard of a single middle manager find themselves on the redundancy list? Wilts county council were issuing a heap of redundancy notices to there managers today, has not one manager from SBC been affected. can we infer then that the redundancies are all front line staff or officers, ?
I don't really like the thought of anyone losing thier job, but won't this leave the council a little top heavy?
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Offline Chris Watts

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2010, 10:15:35 pm »
In amongst all the front line staff being cut, has any one actually seen or heard of a single middle manager find themselves on the redundancy list? Wilts county council were issuing a heap of redundancy notices to there managers today, has not one manager from SBC been affected. can we infer then that the redundancies are all front line staff or officers, ?
I don't really like the thought of anyone losing thier job, but won't this leave the council a little top heavy?
Maybe it is that it is the intention of the council to eventually farm out a majority of the services to the private sector whilst maintaining a management level as a form of contract management. I think that the plan for adult services is the thin end off the wedge and that our council have been looking to Suffolk County Council and Brighton City Council (Both Tory controlled) for inspiration. Of course, these will be arms length Limited companies, possibly 100% owned by the council at first, that will not answer directly to the electorate.

Or maybe I am just paranoid. :-\

Offline Drone

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2010, 06:27:19 am »
In amongst all the front line staff being cut, has any one actually seen or heard of a single middle manager find themselves on the redundancy list? Wilts county council were issuing a heap of redundancy notices to there managers today, has not one manager from SBC been affected. can we infer then that the redundancies are all front line staff or officers, ?
I don't really like the thought of anyone losing thier job, but won't this leave the council a little top heavy?

Haven't heard of anyone going who isn't on the front line. Until the cuts really bite, middle managers are the ones desperately trying to cut budgets by whatever way possible. There's nothing strategic or joined-up about any of the money saving ideas so far. Plus, where anyone has proposed anything far reaching, the politicians get involved and it's back to the drawing board.
derp derp herp herp derp

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: SBC's proposed budget cuts for 2010/11
« Reply #39 on: November 03, 2010, 10:13:49 am »
I heard that in another authority that the Chief Executive has asked ALL THE STAFF for ideas on how economies and savings can be made.

As one of the best paid Chief Executives in the country has Gavin Jones done the same?

Do we actually need the services of both a highly paid Chief Executive and a highly paid Deputy Chief Executive when it would appear that 'management' emanates from elsewhere?

 

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