Friday 8 January 2010

Barnet Council and the big Pork Pie

There is a council election in May, so despite  the fact that in the last year, Barnet Council have lost untold millions in dodgy investments in Icelandic Banks, overspent £11 Million on the Aerodrome Road bridge project, wasted millions on consultants for smoke and mirrors Future shape projects and having one of the worst rates of collection of Council Tax in the country, the Barnet Tories are trying to con us that they are doing a good job, by freezing Council tax this year. Are you taken in by this ruse? Well consider this. Just suppose you drive a new BMW 7 series car. Suppose you bought this last year on Hire Purchase and you are happy with it. If a bloke from the hire purchase company turned up on your doorstep and said "Hello, I'm from the Hire Purchase company. As we lost all our money in Iceland and by mismanagement, we've had to take your BMW away. Never mind though, we're giving you a 10 year old Ford Mondeo with 6 months MOT as a replacement and you won't have to spend a single penny more on your HP agreement." Would you think "What a marvellous company, they've done a great job, I'm so lucky to have a beaten up banger, I can still drive".

You see that is what is happening. Barnet Council cannot provide the same services that they did before for the same money, they are making huge cuts to the budget for childrens services, the elderly and the vulnerable. They are cutting corners wherever they can. Visible signs of this are things like running out of grit during a cold snap. The truth is that it is only a price freeze if you get the same thing for the same money. Marks and Spencers wouldn't claim they've frozen the price of eggs because you can buy 3 eggs for a £1, wheras 10 years ago you could buy 6 eggs for the same price. Sure you've still got a eggs, but it isn't a freeze, because you get less for your money.

The reason Barnet Council have run out of grit is the same as the reason they lost millions in Icelandic Banks. They gambled. They thought that because we've had a few mild winters, they could cut back on supplies of Grit. They are gambling that no one will care that our children, our elderly and our vulnerable will suffer because of these cuts. Many London Boroughs are cutting council taxes and not slashing services. This is because they have managed their money with competence. This claim of a "Tax Freeze" should be taken to trading standards. It is misleading in the extreme, because you are getting less for the same money. Real tax cuts will only happen when competent people start running the council. Let's be sure of one thing, if Lynne Hillan, Brian Coleman and the rest of them are re-elected, the mismanagement will continue and next year and for years to come. When there is no election in the offing, you'll get this years tax rise, next years tax rise and the kitchen sink thrown at you. Don't be fooled

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