Well, well, well.
For those of you who have not heard the details of Mr Osborne’s Comprehensive Spending Review with regards to Local Government, he has announced a cut of 7.1% a year for 4 years; or effectively 25% cut in funding.
Now, as a Councillor on my group is always keen to point out, the devil will of course be in the detail. There are a number of tiers of local government and a number of different funding streams that could of course be cut in different ways.
The one I am most interested in at the moment is the Revenue Support Grants to District Councils, which in Harlow’s case makes up about one half of our General Fund spending. If that was to be cut by 7.1% a year for four years, we really will have to make some very significant and tough choices about spending in coming years, as I have repeatedly warned Harlow over recent months.
As an example, taking into account the savings we already have to make in our Medium Term Financial Strategy to balance the books in Harlow next year with a 7.1% cut in RSG would require a saving of about £2,500,000. Thats not easy, and thats not without pain, but it has to happen.
OMG (for those of you not able to speak TXT that’s Oh My God!) what a week!
Monday is never my favorite of days…. alright its my least favorite of days… but this morning I feel like I am about to be hit by a hurricane.
My week consists of four very busy days of work in my full time job in the Health Service, onto which I am piling:
- Audit and Improvement Committee meeting on Monday.
- Policy and Resources Committee meeting on Tuesday.
- One to One with the Chief Executive of the Council on Wednesday &
- Meeting with the Chairman of the Local Strategic Partnership (Harlow 2020) and Chief Executive of Rainbow (she is double hatted) also on Wednesday.
- Full Council on Thursday.
- Full day in the Council on Friday, including a meeting with the Chairman of the local Hospital trust, the Harlow Youth Conference and a meet with the Chairman and Chief Exec of Harlow Renaissance…. to name just three of the many things during the day.
- Friday night – no not a relax, but not Council business, I have a special Executive Meeting of the Party, followed by the AGM of the Party… and at some stage I have to write my report of the year as Deputy Chairman Political of the Harlow Conservatives.
- Weekend consisting of campaigning for the By-election, we have an action day on Saturday if anyone wants to help beat the Lib Dems in an election.
Mrs J (the other Councillor Johnson) is understandably not chuffed, although we do get to have dinner together on Friday, since she is also going to be at both the Special Executive and the AGM…. I feel takeaway beckoning already!
Weeks this busy are not the norm, but spare a thought for my daughter whom I will carve out as much time as possible for during weeks like this, and who (bless her) already understands that daddy has three different offices to work from!