Sep 13 2013

Council Budget Overspend: Labour and ILG – cut from the same cloth

susan_hall_150x150Cllr. Susan Hall, Conservative Group Leader, said: “This report is obviously very worrying; it’s clear that various projects are overspending without clear reason, and we intend to grill Independent Labour about it at Thursday’s Cabinet. As we have already said, we are concerned that the workload on Independent Labour is too great, and one of the consequences of this is that decisions are delayed and things get missed.

However, for Labour to speak of their ‘golden legacy’ is frankly ridiculous, given they’re responsible for much of what’s going wrong. Had Labour not passed the appalling PRISM decision in the first place – which put all our public realm and environment services at risk – it would not have cost money to fix it.

Similarly, the report shows that key Labour projects like the joint legal services and IT outsourcing are overspending. Even the libraries outsourcing programme is overspending because of delays, and of course Cllr. Perry himself delayed this from February until May when he was culture portfolio holder. And Cllr. Shah should remember that Labour’s budget showed an overspend at the same time last year, within months of him taking over as finance portfolio holder.

So I’m afraid when it comes to sound finance, whether it’s Labour or Independent Labour, they’re both cut from the same cloth.”

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  1. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    Oh dear we do like our English idioms don’t we Susie – “clean up the mess” – “steady the ship” – “cut from the same cloth” perhaps one day the Tory fraternity will surprise us all by actually speaking some English that the average soul may have a sporting chance of understanding?! & by the way Susan – may I politely suggest (& this is meant in a friendly and professional way) that you will need a priorities adjustment change in the unlikely event that you do become leader on Monday night, because the LAST thing you need to do is to be “down at the depot first thing Tuesday morning”. You will be LEADER of the whole bloody Council for chrissakes, NOT the portfolio holder for your beloved public realm! Oh yes indeedee you’ll have to give that one up STRAIGHT away whilst you REMAIN in the office Tuesday morning plotting & planning, gathering intelligence, watching your back, going over the balance sheets, planning your next budget, watching out for officers, fellow Tories and opposition plotting against you whilst wondering everyday whether or not a scandal is going to make national news. Nope Su I don’t reckon you’ll be down the depot first thing Tuesday morning, you’ll be behind your desk with your head in your hands wondering what the bloody hell’s hit you; if you get leader that is… But hey, it is a FANTASTIC job so do go for it and ENJOY! But I promise you you won’t have time to be worrying about public realm too much 😉

  2. Susan Hall

    Thanks for the advice Will and I accept unreservedly that we will probably not gain control of the Council however I do promise iharrow readers that if the Conservatives do win the vote on Monday that we would most certainly be worrying immediately about the public realm – or in non Council speak – street cleaning and park maintenance. In Harrow we pay a very high Council Tax, the third highest in London, and I think the very least our good residents deserve is a clean environment to live and work in. So no actually it would not be Tuesday morning as I would have to officially arrange the meeting, it would be 6am Wednesday morning (when our dedicated street cleaners and groundsmen start) in order that I could start meetings at the Civic at 8am – hard work has never put me off and there is much to do to get Harrow back to the standards we Conservatives left it in pre May 2010. Harrow has never had a female Leader, perhaps its time it did!

  3. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    Hehe can’t argue with that-just 1 Q though Susan – what will you cut to pay for it????

  4. Susan Hall

    Probably the ridiculous amount of taxpayers money that goes on ‘consultants’ however if the Conservatives are lucky enough to be in control of Harrow Council after the vote on Monday then I assure you everything will be costed up correctly and will be transparent so that all can see

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