Now that the budget consultation meetings with the public are nearly over it never ceases to amaze me how few people bother to turn up at these meetings to express their opinions on where savings should be made in the budget and yet the letters page of the Courier or the website is always full of comments from these armchair experts on how the Council should provide services.
This year has been particularly difficult because we’ve already taken out the waste and the fat that people assumed was there.
We have been given less support from central government and yet we had expected to maintain services at the same level.
The latest buzzword from the government is that council should be commissioning services out. Commissioning is another word for privatisation once services are privatised we’ll still have to pay with no control over the services on the standard of service that we receive because profit becomes the motive.
The one good thing is that with the localism bill and the asset transfer arrangements local people and groups people now can take can take over some of the services and facilities that the council at the moment provide.
We’ve seen it in Hebden Bridge where local people and the Town Council has taken over the Town Hall and the Picture House through asset transfer but if the response to the budget consultation meetings is anything to go by we might as well shut up shop.