VOICE OF THE FENS: Challenging times ahead for those responsible for cutting spending
ANYONE who manages or influences a household budget (i.e. most of us) already knows what it s taking some public authorities time to find out. At its simplest the money just isn t there. One has only to look at some recent figures from Cambridgeshire Co
ANYONE who manages or influences a household budget (i.e. most of us) already knows what it's taking some public authorities' time to find out.
At its simplest the money just isn't there.
One has only to look at some recent figures from Cambridgeshire County Council to detect the pressures building up, and the �3 million overspend projected, unless something is done, would be worrying in the best of times. Since these are hardly those, it's going to be challenging times ahead for those responsible for cutting the cloth according to our means.
In reality, however, there needs to be a much broader acceptance that public services, as we have become accustomed to them, are set for the biggest shake up in decades.
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Our view has long been the unitary option should become the norm, hence doing away with the three tier system of local government that leads to prolificacy, possible duplication and almost certain frustration from Council tax payers.
Fenland's chief executive Tim Pilsbury is a well documented advocate of such a system but he's also practical and realises this will be some way off.
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In the meantime he believes the best chance for local services is much more joined up thinking, much more joined up delivery of services, and ultimately less staff needed to do it.
It's a view shared by Cambridgeshire's top man, Mark Lloyd, so expect some radical proposals any time soon to save money.
The public is out for blood and that will probably mean taking an axe- or an implement of choice- to the large numbers employed in the public sector and questioning their very existence.
The private sector has hurt, and hurt mightily hard, in recent times. For local government we believe the pain has hardly yet begun.