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Channel 4 documentary shows why councils should accept Government grant cuts


I went to a meeting on Tuesday where the Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe was complaining about the prospect of cuts in the contribution from central Government to his £1.1 billion budget. He thought there could be "front loading" of grant cuts of 20%. He seemed to be plucking figures out the air as we won't kow the real figures until next month. But, in any event, his whining is misplaced. A 20% cut would still leave the council with a bigger budget than 2006/07.

Some of us would feel that there was already overspending by Hackney Council in 2006/07 and getting it back down to that level was a modest enough ambition.

I wonder if Pipes had a chance to watch the Channel 4 documentary a couple of days later, Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story.

There is an audio link here of a speech from Eric Pickles to London Councils last weekend (he starts 20 minutes in.) He tells Pipe that "the nominations have not yet opened for the Man Booker Prize for fiction." He suggested that Hackney should cease spending £38 million a year on temporary staff. There was also the matter of Pipe saying how hard it would be to find savings while "contemptuously" dragging his feet on publishing procurement spending over £500.

Eric was too diplomatic to mention that Pipe's election was pretty flawed. The Conservative candidate's election address was not included and then the Council told voters there was no Conservative candidate.


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