Friday, 14 December 2018
25 February 2011

Labour Blaming Others for Labour's own Mistakes

When will Council Leader Rob Anderson face-up to reality ?

Cllr Rob Anderson's reaction to the government's proposal to force councils to vote on salaries over £100,000 and to publish details of all staff earning more than £58,200 is predictable.

The Labour controlled Slough Council has very good reasons for shunning scrutiny when you consider the scale of their spending on salaries amongst other things.

Cllr Rob Anderson says he believes that the proposals for more public scrutiny and openness made by the Secretary of State for Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, is a

''distraction tactic to divert attention from the appalling cuts passed down by the coalition''.

But what Cllr Rob Anderson fails to acknowledge is that the last government's policies, which included massive growth of public sector jobs and salaries, is a principle cause of the economic difficulties in which the country now finds itself.

Local authorities would give a better account of themselves if they now got on with the job of making cuts, as we all have to, in non-essential areas of spending and thereby preserving the core infrastructure necessary for an efficiently functioning local authority.

It is interesting to note that at a time when most hardworking (if they have a job) families are feeling the pinch Slough Borough Council still advertises for an amazing amount of non-job positions; here is a selection currently on their website.

  • Assistant Team Manager, salary £39,810 - £40,704
  • Independent Reviewing Officer - Full-Time, salary £40,741 - 45,191
  • Youth Support Workers £9.63 to £10.53 per hour
  • Social Workers, salary £30,860 - £35,398
  • Superintendent Registrar & Manager of Registration Service, salary: £30,860 - £35,398
  • Team Manager, salary £41,590 - £46,060
  • We need to return to an ethos of public service in local government and lose the cynical self-serving ethos of the last government.

    Let's get rid of this attitude of 'we know best how to spend other people's money' and allow people to choose how they want their money spent, and, more importantly, to see how their money has been spent.

    If we don't have enough money to look after our own elderly and infirm, and to take care of waste disposal, rubbish collection and other essential amenities then the profligate vanity projects like the 'Heart of Slough' regeneration scheme which is costing £450m and creating layers of expensive bureaucracy look like mismanagement on a massive scale.

    So Cllr Anderson don't try and hide what you do with other people's money, you and your attitude are a huge part of the problem; at least have the good grace now to become instrumental in working out how best to apply the necessary cuts while being fair to the people of Slough.

    Michael Moore