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Labour's incompetence in running Birmingham City Council

It is difficult running public sector organisations during austerity. However, Labour's incompetence in running Birmingham seems to exceed their traditional levels of incompetence.

The first thing they did on taking control was to change the structure of the cabinet. Rather than having a system where it was clear who was responsible for what issue power was diffused. That means that any difficult decisions get kicked into the long grass.

Then we have the Wheelie Bin saga. They have messed up on their financial calculations and are now expected to spend around £1 Million on publicity alone.

We also have the saga about charging people on JSA Council Tax. Initially they decided to refuse the government grant and charge 20% to people on Council tax. After some effort from me keeping the door open to a request for funding they have now agreed to charge only 8.5%, but because they have done this part way through the year they have not got the software sorted out. Hence we have this story where they are asking the poorest people to pay more than they owe.

This decision rests fairly and squarely with the political administration. Labour nationally are still facing both ways on the cuts although they do seem to accept that austerity will be needed beyond the 2015 general election. However, they seem to be intent on doing the most damage with their cuts rather than trying to protect services.

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R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

November 9 1923

Editor’s comments in bold.

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