Yet another Conservative-run Council seems to be facing bankruptcy – and this time it’s in a Tory Minister’s OWN Constituency

“There is a massive budgetary disparity at the heart of Tory-run Worcestershire County Council. The council, which includes Housing and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid’s constituency, has, it seems, sought to bury a damning review of its finances carried out by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

Worcestershire’s forecast increase in demand for services was 2.5 times larger than its expected growth in resources. The CIPFA has warned the council that they face a £26.4m hole in their finances in 2018-2019, which looks to rise to £60.1m in 2020-2021.

The shadow Housing and Communities Secretary, Andrew Gwynne MP has noticed the pertinent similarities between the situation in Worcestershire CC and Tory-run Northamptonshire County Council’s bankruptcy:

“This Government has utterly failed local government, forcing many authorities to struggle to maintain basic services after cutting their funding to the bone. The National Audit Office and the IFS are calling for a change in direction, one of the Government’s own councils has gone bankrupt, and now with this mess happening in the Secretary of State’s own Council – how much longer can Sajid Javid ignore this crisis?

Almost eight years of Tory austerity clearly isn’t working. It didn’t work for Northamptonshire, and it’s not working for Worcestershire. We need to elect as many Labour councillors as possible on 3 May to stand up to the Conservatives’ cuts.”

A reduction of 47% in the council’s usable reserves over the last 5 years, as well as overspending on children’s services, has seen the Worcestershire CC looming over a prospective £60m black hole.”

2 thoughts on “Yet another Conservative-run Council seems to be facing bankruptcy – and this time it’s in a Tory Minister’s OWN Constituency

    • Oh come on Mike. The Tories are not morons.

      No. This is not incompetence due to a lack of intelligence – this is deliberate destruction of UK public services by a party that has made the richest 1% (many of whom happen to be Conservative Party donors) 3x richer over the last 40 years whilst in the same period plotting the destruction and sell off of the NHS.

      This is a Government which has savagely cut the pay (in real terms) for the people we rely on at the coal face of our public services whilst increasing executive pay in those same services by 3x (not to mention the above inflation pay rises they have given themselves).

      This is a Party that has a secret agenda which it does not publish in its manifestos. We know from the Cabinet Papers released under the 30 year rule that the Conservatives started to look at privatising the NHS in Margaret Thatcher’s first cabinet meeting 40 years ago, and is currently selling off the NHS to the highest bidders (who are often Tory donors) and planning to use selling parts to the Americans as a bribe to give us a decent trade deal when they have screwed up Britain’s Brexit negotiations so badly. But none of this has never once appeared in an Election Manifesto. In the 2015 elections, making every school an Academy School (i.e. privatising the entire school system) was not in their manifesto, but immediately after winning the election despite no manifesto policy they still tried to push through a vote to do this without any debate. Democracy under the Conservatives? What democracy?

      This is a Government that has cut services and benefits for the most vulnerable in our society, and made savage cuts at the same time as demand has been growing, making the middle-classes pay more for worse services, giving the already less well-off even less whilst at the same time giving tax cuts to the already rich. Divide and conquer? Pit one community against another in a fight for funds? Give discretionary money to councils where it will create political benefit, like the Tory council which threatened a 15% rise in council tax if they didn’t get more funding, or the above average grants in marginal seats and ministerial seats? Creating postcode lotteries on social care and other public services, and a divided and divisive society?

      But mostly this is a Government which has the slipperiest shoulders of any Government for decades, a Government that has slashed grants to local councils in order to pass the burden of responsibility for funding to them (rather than continuing to be a Government responsibility) apparently in order to be then able to blame those councils when finances go wrong, a Government which refuses to be accountable and fails to deliver on promises it made (like re-homing Grenfell Tower survivors and ensuring that flammable cladding is replaced on every other tower block).

      Local councils are now faced with a choice – attempt to meet the growing need for social care by increasingly risky commercial strategies which eventually come unstuck and lead to “bankruptcy” (like Northamptonshire and now Worcestershire) or alternatively put their heads in the sand and cut services to those who need it to survive and instead bolster reserves (like Devon)!!!!


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