22 November 2010
This is all very familiar........
A couple of weeks ago, and in the light of the increasingly worrying statements coming out of County Hall, I decided to email the Leader of Somerset County Council, Ken Maddock, with a few questions. The text of the email is reproduced below (click or double click to see it in a larger version).
Its my suspicion that Ken and his crew don't have a plan and, because they don't have a plan, they have't thought through the impact of the cuts. However, as ideologues (see Pol Pot, Chairman Mao etc etc) they don't actually care what the impact of the cuts is going to be. They only care about the final objective (or should that be solution?) and that was probably outlined in instructions that they received from George Osborne. George probably told them what the likely figure was that County would receive from Council Tax, Uniform Business Rate etc etc and George probably suggested that they get going with the chainsaw.
Now I'm just as concerned as the next person about 'debt' and if County is carrying unsustainable levels of debt then its only right and proper to get those debt levels down to manageable levels. But the timescale applied to that reduction is important. The longer the timescale (4 years to the next election) the smaller the chance will be that Ken will hit George's schedule. The shorter the timescale, the more drastic the cuts, the more in the way of asset disposal will be required. Rather like a choice between between a decent landing and taxi to the terminal or a belly-flop which will probably destroy the aircraft and kill the passengers. George probably wants the latter because it will satisfy his timescale and, speaking as a passenger, I'd prefer the former.
The question is, "How badly does Ken want to feature in the Birthday Honours List?".
Till next time, I'm Niall Connolly
Posted by niall connolly at 23:29