|Council is Playing 'Tricks' Over Budget Cuts Say Tories|
Labour and Tories at loggerheads over authority funding
The announcement that another £30m will have to be cut from Ealing's budget is nothing to do with the government funding allocation say the Conservatives.
The authority had originally been planning to make cuts of at least £55 million but that figure has been reviewed and is more likely to be £85 million.
Ealing's Labour Leader, Councillor Julian Bell, has placed the blame on the coalition government but the Conservative finance spokesman, Councillor Mark Reen says this is simply not the case:
"On Tuesday the council cabinet decided that it needed to save £85m over the next four years. Only three weeks ago at a recent library consultation the figure was £65m - council commitee papers suggest either £55m or £58m depending on which report you pick up. The wide variance of these numbers suggest that the figure is based on what will carry the largest headline and subject to change at any minute.''
Councillor Reen says changes to the government Formula Grant account for only a third of savings needed:
''In other words two thirds of the "cuts" are due to decisions that the administration is making itself and unrelated to the changes in government Formula Grant - despite administration charges that all the cuts are the fault of the government.
''Opposition calculations show that the total reductions in grant funding actually amount to less than 13% of the councils total expenditure on services -challenging yes - but not the 30% as has been claimed in council communication.
''The Labour administration should have an honest dialogue with residents about the actual impact of the governments changes to grant funding to the council. Currently residents are being subjected to "accountants tricks" to provide cover for massive changes to council services.''
10th June 2011