It is often said that a week is a long time in politics, but in one sense that is wrong. Dealing with Government finance and the economy takes multiple years, so the problem that we had in 2010 will take at least eight years to resolve. People who interview me every so often say, “Oh, we have more cuts this year,” but those decisions were made in 2010 and they were driven by Government policy in the previous years. I shall quote a few comments about Government policy from 2005 to 2010 because they are relevant to this debate and the issue of budget responsibility in the long term. One person said in his memoirs:
“However, we should also accept that from 2005 onwards Labour was insufficiently vigorous in limiting or eliminating the potential structural deficit.” That was Tony Blair, who was Prime Minister at the time. Lord Turnbull, who at one stage was the Cabinet Secretary, the chief civil servant, noted that excessive borrowing started to be a problem fr…
I received an email from the court indicating that the trial into the Labour Party's policy of leaving the city in a mess (apart from the odd clear up) will be on 11th June.
It will be interesting to see if they concede the point now that they have done one rather erratic clear up.
Many constituents have contacted me asking for a refund as well.
The Labour Party have made many claims about how much money is being cut from Birmingham's budgets. They are doing this to justify their prioritisation of cutting the green waste collection. It happens to be that Solihull spends in total around £700 per annum less per dwelling, but still provides a free green waste service (one bin - they charge for a second bin)
However, these are the figures in total (in £million) including the forecasts. It is important to remember that Labour nationally are committed to the 15/16 figure and have said they will make further cuts if they come into government (although the cuts may not be the same)
I have in front of me a Labour leaflet claiming the total cuts are two thirds. I don't see that from the quoted figures below.
Net Budgets 2011/12 onwardsActual FiguresForecasts
based on 2014+ LTFP2011/122012/132013/142014/152015/162016/172017/18Council Tax332.198333.218252.104258.529267.499273.394281.919Government Grants691.206646.52783.3847…
The campaign to clean up Birmingham will not be resolved quickly. The City Council are continuing to refuse to clear refuse more generally although there are reports that secret instructions have been given to do a specific clear up following my application to court.
The application I made to the court on Thursday is specifically about 18 dumps of green waste. One of those was cleared on the day. Some have been there since before 24th April.
This is a specific form of legal action that is allowed under S91 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Taking legal action against public authorities is risky because of the potential to be hit by their costs. However, the rules on rubbish and litter are that the council pays the costs if the litter is there when the application is made (which we have photographic evidence of for 17 of the sites).