Bristol Cuts “Errors”- someone needs to take responsibility

9 11 2010

Bristol Labour warned that the cuts announcement from 4 months ago of £35,000,000 was possibly a “softening up” exercise and that further cuts were being concealed.

3 months ago the figure became £50,000,000

Now Bristol Lib Dems say it could be up £70,000,000.

What is the explanation of the difference? There appear to be 3 options:

1. Someone got the figures staggeringly wrong, in which case Cllr. Wright as Executive Member for Efficiency and Value for Money or Cllr. Janke as Leader should take responsibility and resign.

2. This was a “softening up” exercise or a deliberate attempt to mislead the people of Bristol, in which case Cllr. Wright or Cllr. Janke should admit responsibility and resign.

3. Bristol Lib Dems are completely “out of the loop” on their own Government’s spending intentions, in which case we should all vote them out of power come 5th May.

It’s probably too much to expect the career politicians on the Lib Dem front benches to do the honourable thing, take responsibility and resign… so we will have to rely on the Bristol electorate kicking them out of office come May 2011

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4 responses

9 11 2010
thebristolblogger

It has the smell of an abandoned strategy. If you read the Post article it’s unattributed. Why have they made a major announcement off-the-record? Are all Lib Dems scared to take responsibility? What a bunch of wusses.

10 11 2010
Cllr Mark Wright

So, heads I should resign, tails I should resign? How very reasonable – ho ho.

Look guys, this is a total non-story, created because the Evening Post is looking for a “story” and doesn’t know the difference between the Medium-Term Financial Plan (MTFP – the Council’s 3-year finance plan) and the Comprehensive Spending review (CSR – the Government’s 4-year finance plan). Note that they are of different time lengths.

It has been expected since summer that the MTFP savings that we have to plan for (that’s over 3 years, remember) were £50m. E.g. this story:
http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/news/CITY-FACES-163-50M-CUTS-3-YEARS/article-2376851-detail/article.html
Note that it says “over 3 years”. No secret there. Just to recap: the CSR is over 4 years, and goes beyond the end of the MTFP. The end of the CSR will come into the scope of the MTFP next year.

It has always been expected that the Council would have to absorb a cash cut of ~20% from the current level over the CSR. From nearly £400m, that would be a cash cut of about £70m. This has also never been a secret, and has been openly discussed in Resources Scrutiny meetings over several months, and other places. The Labour Party does have members on that committee – perhaps they haven’t been keeping the party updated with what is going on? If so, I suggest you speak to them, rather than making slightly silly posts on the back of sloppy journalism at the Evening Post.

PS: BB, the article was unattributed because it was bollox.

10 11 2010
turningbristolred

In fairness Mark I also suggested that the good citizens of Cabot had the option of sweeping you out of office.

So who pushed the story to the BEP and why were the full figures not produced initially?

in my view this was a softening up exercise and for the sake of political cover keeping public sector employees guessing about their jobs and effectively ignorant about the need for a search for alternative employment is a pretty shoddy think to do.

Shame on you.

You seem to be suggesting Sam Rkaina is a sloppy journalist. Personally I’ve found him and Mr. Onions to have improved the level of information available to Bristol’s citizens. As a rule I avoid allowing posters to libel or defame people on this blog so I’ll make clear I allow the comment on the understanding that I disassociate myself with it entirely.

10 11 2010
thebristolblogger

Pointing out to the public and your own staff that the council is making £70m of cuts rather than £50m is hardly a non-story is it Mark?

The fact that the information is buried in some minutes somewhere that ten people have read doesn’t really count as an open and public announcement in the real world I’m afraid.

Grow some balls and start leveling with the people of this city and your own staff.

Today in London is just the start of the response to what you and your Tory friends are creating. There’s a rough road ahead and if you think we’re all going to sit idly by listening to your piffle about “non stories” while you turn this city’s public services into something out of the third world then you are gravely mistaken.

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