Monday, 14 February 2011

Wielding the Axe

Today's paper has yet another report on Carmarthenshire Council's budget cuts. As I have mentioned the proposals many times throughout this blog I will not repeat it all here. The Executive Board will rubber stamp the cuts today, to be ratified at a full council meeting on the 28th February. I shall be in the Public Gallery. With regard to the public consultation this was accurately described by union chiefs as "shabby, cynical and the illusion of choice to the people of Carmarthenshire, as well as a veneer of legitimacy to the proposed cuts", in fact the Council's own analysis (or whoever did it) uses terms such as 'unreliable' and 'should be treated with caution'. No surprises then. I also predict that there are a couple of controversial cuts, deliberately popped in to enable a magnanimous u-turn and an excellent PR opportunity. But then I'm cynical.
The whole issue of council chiefs' pay also turns up again today  with the Welsh Local Government Association predictably rushing to their defence and the unions, two thirds of who's members average £17k a year, demanding that Chief Executives are subject to the same pay assessments as the lower paid.
Arguments over excessive senior pay packages and council cuts can been seen and heard across the UK at the moment and will rumble on in Carmarthenshire over the coming months.

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