Steve’s Scary Blog

  • A brief moment when I thought Lichfield District‘s residents were going to come first.

    I thought there was going to be a protest from Conservative District Councillors, in support of their residents, against their Tory MPs and the Tory government cuts in funding for their council and the services it provides – but no.

    I attended Lichfield District Council’s Council Tax Setting meeting on February 20th and thought I was witnessing some backbone at last in the Conservative Group. The Member for Whittington and Streethay (good luck fighting Birmingham’s plans for housing here Alan) seemed to be critical of the government forcing councils to raise their Council Tax – a “regressive tax” according to Labour Leader Councillor Sue Woodward – by cutting national funding.

    Even the Conservative Leader of the Local Government Association is unhappy with this:

    Lord Porter, LGA Chairman, said recently:

    “Services supporting the most vulnerable people in our communities are at breaking point and many councils are increasingly unable to turn down the chance to raise desperately-needed money for social care and other local services next year.”

    Tory Northamptonshire County Council is to be abolished because, in effect, they’ve gone bust. They could be the first of many but it’s not as if the government wasn’t warned. Labour’s then Chair of the LGA, Cllr David Sparks, was predicting this in 2015.

    What about schools? After all Lichfield’s MP has been promising fairer funding for schools under a Conservative Government for over 15 years now but nothing has happened in the eight years they have been in charge. What is happening however is that the number of Secondary Schools in deficit has trebled.

    But back to Lichfield District Council. They will still have a £1 million or £2 million funding gap by 2021/22 depending on whether they can manage to build enough houses to get the New Homes Bonus (although that has been reduced by the Government) and other income – or not. But when Councillor Woodward pointed this out suddenly they, including Councillor White, came to the defence of their Party and Government and so exposed their crocodile tears.

    Why not contact your Conservative Councillor, or you could wait for them to knock on your door, and ask them if they support you or their Government. They clearly cannot do both.