Sunday, February 10, 2008

Warwick District Cheated by Labour.

This week the government voted on its Local Government Settlement. Now many of us may think that all our council tax goes to Warwick District Council and they use it to pay for our services.

Well its not as simple as that. A huge slice of it goes off to Whitehall and they give some of it back in terms of grants. Of course a lot of our money leaks out in terms of costs and layers of bureaucracy. This way the Government manages to keep control of what our councils are spending our money on.

So, this week the Government voted on the Local Government Settlement. Warwick District has been given just a 1% increase, amongst the lowest in the country. You can see a copy of a spreadsheet on a government website here that shows just who has got what.

Now I know that the government is giving some councils small settlements to force them to become more efficient. Yet Warwick District during the Lib-Dem jointly run administration received praise from the Audit Commission that said the Council was well run and provided value for money.

James Plaskitt MP for Warwick & Leamington even voted for this settlement! I will be asking him why.

Now if we are going to be cynical we could wonder if this is because Warwick District is now controlled by the Tories after Labours defeat in the local election last May. But then I have to wonder why Kenilworth Tory MP, Jeremy Wright abstained from the vote. Only 3 Conservatives joined the Lib-Dem's in voting against this penny pinching settlement.

So ultimately it will be us, the council tax payer that will be left to foot the bill. The rise barely takes into account inflation and the additional costs of services the government requires councils to provide. The end result is that councils are being forced to increase council tax above inflation and cut services. It is a case of pay more and get less under Labour.

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