PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 08 Jan 2015, 05:58

Agreed Tiz. No one political party can absolve themselves from blame, the locally funded social services have been hit by both major parties with caps on council funding.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 05 Jun 2015, 07:58

This topic has laid fallow for a while but I fear it may get a new lease of life in the next few months. Apart from Wee George's announcement yesterday we are beginning to see evidence of previous cuts working their way through the system. In this week's BET we see news of the closure of the Earby Mines Museum and the Over 50s Luncheon Club. Both worthy enterprises which in the past could have been funded by the council as a public good. There is a letter also from the manager of Pendle Heritage Centre refuting the suggestion that they are funded by the council, they are not. The accusation arose from a spat about Pendle closing the public toilets in Barrowford and re-directing clients to the 'public toilets' at the Centre. So, indirectly the cause was public service cuts.
We are going to see increasing numbers of re;ports like this, of closures of services due to cuts and the effects of cuts on education, the NHS and the police in particular. All these build up problems down the line and in the end will not be productive. A prime example is the cuts in funding of social care, care homes come under increasing pressure and standards drop, the result is that the victims become hospital patients and thus multiply the affects because care in a hospital is far more expensive than in a dedicated care home. Jeremy Hunt tells the NHS that the days of asking for more money are over.... Perhaps this should be applied to MP's pay as well..... Stand by your beds for more dire news as the summer wears on.....
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Wendyf » 05 Jun 2015, 08:15

I may be wrong, but I believe that the Luncheon Club in Earby has had to give up because the person who organised it and did the cooking (on a voluntary basis) has moved away and as yet no one has been found to replace her.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Marilyn » 05 Jun 2015, 08:36

I guess any system will collapse when there are too many "taking from/using" it than there are taxpayers to sustain it.
There are now several generation who think they are "entitled" without having to contribute.
And not specific to UK I might add. We see it here too.
Personally, I feel most sorry for my generation. We were taught to work hard, care for our elderly, and put money away to sustain our old age so as not to be a burden. Now that we approach our time of need ( most of us having contributed to...yet removed nothing from...the "system" all our lives), we find the system collapsing in on itself and there is nothing to rely on. Too many needy hands grabbing for things they feel entitled to...

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by LizG » 05 Jun 2015, 09:49

Maz, I need a 'Like' button. so true.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Marilyn » 05 Jun 2015, 10:13

Liz...I am not/have never been a political animal.
When I was first working and paying tax, I was quite proud that I was contributing to a better Australia - that I was contributing to the old having comfort in their later years, the roads being made better, the sick and disabled being helped, and the unemployed being given a hand UP ( as opposed to a hand OUT).
This "cradle to grave" entitlement has to stop.
The government has had years to prepare for the "baby boomers" reaching their golden years. Why are they suddenly afraid we are all moving toward retirement? We are as prepared for it as we can possibly be, but it appears there is no welcome mat!

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by plaques » 05 Jun 2015, 18:30

Stiglitz comments in his book that Tony Abbott is following the American monetary policy when he doesn't need to. The amount of debt that Australia is carrying does not warrant the austerity measures he is following. Look forward for things to get much worse. Like the UK that's what you voted for so stop whinging.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 06 Jun 2015, 03:47

Wendy, that's right but a public good like that deserves Council support.
Maz what you say is true but it's not feckless baby boomers we're talking about but people who were reared in a system where welfare was promised from cradle to grave and people of my generation worked for rubbish wages with no company or private pensions on the understanding there was a contract between us and the government. We paid our taxes, kept our noses to the grindstone and then found that the whole of the financial system was geared against us. The low wage policy is still in force, wage councils have been abolished (except in Scotland where they still have an agricultural wages board), the minimum wage is not a living wage and 50% of those in the lower paid jobs are on income support because industry is being subsidised by the government. Australia is different, you have strong unions which have kept the wage levels up, here we are seeing new restrictions being mooted to make it harder to have an official strike.
I don't know what Abbott's policies are but P is usually accurate and if he is correct watch for a worsening of the situation. From the 1950s to the 80s we had high tax rates on wealth, an expanding economy and the benefits of a massive boom in technology. That was when the 'experts' decided that we were entering the age of the 'new economy. 'Boom and bust' was a thing of the past so the people who controlled the wealth were obviously doing a good job and could be given more freedom to run the system. We have seen how they were doing it and what the consequences are. Australia escaped the worst of this because you have great natural resources and could dig the money out of the ground to protect you. That era is coming to an end for various reasons and I think that you will gradually come to realise that you are in the same boat that we are. I hope not because I want to see you do well (and my daughters as well!) but global forces are at work and at the moment we are seeing a world wide growth in inequality which is being made worse because governments as a whole haven't grasped the fact that in the end, inequality drags everyone down, including the wealthy....
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Marilyn » 06 Jun 2015, 05:28

Blind Freddy can see things are only going to get worse.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 06 Jun 2015, 05:37

You've lost me Maz, who is Blind Freddy?
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Marilyn » 06 Jun 2015, 07:54

Have you never heard Blind Freddy sayings, Stanley?
( surely you have)
When someone states something fairly obvious, we say "Blind Freddy could have told you THAT!" ( because it is so darn obvious that even Blind Freddy could see it).

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Cathy » 06 Jun 2015, 08:39

Yes but unfortunately a lot of the wealthy believe their own kind of b******t thru their arrogance and ignorance and don't think it could possibly happen.
I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK... they know me here. :)

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 07 Jun 2015, 03:51

New one to me Maz but I see what you mean now. Cath is right but the funny thing is that Stiglitz relates in his latest book being at a dinner party in the Hamptons (one of the wealthiest counties in the US. On Long Island) that one of the topics of conversation was the breakdown of society due to lazy people relying on the economy to support their life style. The irony is of course that this describes them exactly so they are more blind than Freddy!
Stiglitz knows what he is talking about. He is a Nobel Prize winner and was chief economist at the IMF. He argued consistently against deregulation and low wealth taxes when he was in post and was ousted from the job for that reason. Well worth reading. Pity Osborne doesn't take a bit of time off and read his arguments. Problem is of course everything Stiglitz says is contrary to his political DNA.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 16 Oct 2015, 07:10

For the last five years I have been a bit of a Jeremiah in that I have constantly warned of the damage to society posed by the draconian cuts to public services which are a major part of the Tory 'economic miracle'. It was obvious that sooner or later the results of taking funding out of the system would have serious consequences now and far into the future. I have also continued to point out that the cuts are by no means over, they are in fact increasing.
In this morning's BET we see some of the results coming through, the Lancashire police report that by the end of this parliament, if the proposed cuts were not reversed they will not be able to give 'a viable service' due to cuts in manpower and general funding, the limits of 'savings' have been reached and in some cases exceeded.
Lancashire County Council announces that by 2018 they will have expended all their reserves which at the moment are being used to stem the worst of the cuts. We know that Pendle Council is, if anything, in an even worse condition. Add to this the deterioration in the NHS and education, the cutting of bus services etc and I am afraid the prospects for the future aren't good. This leaves aside the knock on effects of the cuts on society in the future. We know that money taken out of the primary education system leads to higher crime rates. We already see the effects on Care in the Community, particularly of support for the elderly in their own homes. The local councils can't afford to fund care in specialised units properly and this means a deterioration in services as the privately owned care homes see incomes falling.
So, I'm being Jeremiah again. I doubt if anyone can forecast just how bad things are going to be by the end of this parliament. I am glad to see that the much-villified local LibDem councillors are joining with the police in their fight against the cuts. Perhaps our Tory MP hasn't noticed what is happening......
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 30 Oct 2015, 08:09

See THIS for the news of the NHS reaction to the aftermath of the Winterbourne case. Beds for patients with 'learning difficulties' in the system are to be cut by half and this includes the complete closure of Calderstones at Whalley. This has been generally welcomed by organisations working in the field but at the same time doubts are being expressed about the amount of funding that will be devoted to the change. Call me a cynic but in view of the overall general underfunding of mental health care and community care this is not necessarily good news. Government policies seem to be very good at 'improving' the system by cutting services but very bad when it comes to finding the money to fund the change. Watch this space....
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 03 Nov 2015, 07:03

See THIS for an indication of how seriously the police and the Commissioners are viewing the cuts. They say the government funding formula is deeply flawed and 'not fit for purpose'. Lancashire and Cumbria are particularly badly hit. Austerity at its finest?
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by plaques » 03 Nov 2015, 08:12

I've thought for some time that the real concern is not to protect the plebs but to set up an organisation that would protect the top level against the plebs. The suggestion of buying water cannon and surveillance drones plus changes to the 'snoopers' charter are what our friend Karl would describe as suppression by the 'state'. If we continue down the austerity route these measures may well be justified. That is in their eyes.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 04 Nov 2015, 05:15

You could well be right P. Never forget that the area commissioners and contingency plans brought in during the General Strike in 1926 are still in place as far as I know and you can bet they are constantly updated. You never hear a peep about this area of government, more secret than the 'secret services'. Breakdown of public order wasn't a major concern until 1919 and the Russian Revolution but soon became an obvious concern. The major concern then was the number of fighting men returning home, many with clandestine arms. Look up Red Clydeside on the web. Consider the Addison Housing Act and why a very generous piece of legislation was ditched as soon as the post war depression started to bite, the returned soldiers had other things to worry about. As yourself what the basic roots of the 'Homes Fit For Heroes' movement were.... And before anyone starts to differ, just because you're paranoid it doesn't mean they aren't out to get you!
And yes, you're right, I am either a cynic or a realist.
See THIS for a report on a study by retail security firm Checkpoint Systems on the amount of shoplifting in Britain today. Funnily enough most police forces say there is a drop in reported thefts but this may be because many forces are suspected of giving shoplifting (and stealing fuel by driving away) such a low priority that retailers aren't bothering to report. I have seen reports of filling station franchisees and attendants being held personally responsible for drive away thefts by the large companies who own the stations. How will further cuts in police funding affect this?
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 11 Dec 2015, 07:46

Anyone of a nervous disposition should avoid reading the front page of the BET this week. The Council are forecasting that in order to service the savings of £4.7million over the next three years the public services they provide will have to be reviewed and many cut back to the stage where they will be 'unrecognisable. Councillor Tony Greaves rails against the ideological nature of the cuts and he is quite right. This government's flight from responsibility is grotesque.
I have warned consistently that we ain't seen nothing yet and that at any point in time over 50% of the cuts were still to come as the screw was being tightened all the time. We may be looking at the last tranche of cuts but somehow I doubt it. The economic prospects aren't good and this government is set on a track of reducing funding for public services every time there is a shortfall in their budget.
There is more, none of this takes account of the long term consequences of the cuts. These stretch forward over the next twenty years even at this stage with even more bad news to come. Councillor Greaves is right when he labels the cuts as ideological. They are all directed at the bottom 85% of the public and are part of the Tory drive to get us back to the good old days of 19th century laisser faire and the mythical 'sound money'.
You all know the weak spots in the plan. If you are poor or disadvantaged, old or infirm, you are in the firing line.... Sometimes I am glad I am so old, I shall be dead before the full force of the consequences of these terrible policies hits us but our children and grand children will feel the full impact.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Wendyf » 14 Dec 2015, 12:19

Not only are we likely to lose museums, libraries and community centres in the current round of budget cuts it is also proposed that the Countryside Management Service is cut, which means that the Wycoller Country Park will CLOSE.
The County Archaelogical Service is also facing closure..see This..

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tizer » 14 Dec 2015, 16:55

I know it's no consolation Wendy but similar things are afoot here too. :sad:

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 15 Dec 2015, 04:13

You're dead right Wendy. The only thing I can compare it to is the Nazis burning books, the clever thing is that instead of doing it from Westminster, the Tory government have given the responsibility to the others and then cut their funding. (It wasn't us Guv, it was bad economic management on the part of the council. Honest!)
It gets worse. There isn't a single museum in the country that can give clear evidence of all three levels of legal ownership for every artefact they hold. (These levels are Possession, Title and Provenance) Closing them down is a legal minefield. Again, what about Carnegie Libraries administered by local councils? Has anyone properly examined the legal position? Has the additional cost of what could ensue been factored into the cuts? If you put the shutters up at a museum you have to have security and some conservation plan to alleviate inevitable deterioration. Has this been recognised? Has anyone even asked the question?
This whole question demonstrates the flight from responsibility of the government and when the electorate realise that some heritage is more important than others (Can you imagine government money not going to the great public buildings? Will they fund the refurbishment of the Houses of Parliament?) there will be outrage. It's a minefield which in the end will not save any money and will leave us with a legacy of liability besides being an attack on the basic fabric of society.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by plaques » 15 Dec 2015, 09:17

Stanley wrote:These levels are Possession, Title and Provenance
This item is very small beer by comparison to closing a major library. People walking through Colne may have noticed the bell tower of the old cloth hall at the side of the Sure Start building. The plaque along side says the bell itself is located in the library. The library in question is not the current public library but the old Carnegie library on Albert Rd, now under planning deliberations to be developed into housing flats. So what happens to the bell? Does anyone know or even care?

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 16 Dec 2015, 04:35

P. sorry but none of the consequences of these cuts is 'small beer'. Has anyone looked at the original terms of the transfer by the Carnegie Foundation of the library to the local authority? I'll lay a small bet there are some provisions in there that are triggered by any changes in status by the cuts. Many museums are protected by clauses that provide for central authorities to take over the assets if and when they are closed. The case of the bell in Colne is just one example of what could happen, the dreaded law of Unintended Consequences cannot be avoided. As I said before, this is a minefield!
Another little known fact is that one of the conditions of many treasury grants is that there are sanctions, including recompense, that automatically become operative if the enterprise is closed. I think someone should read the small print.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 20 Dec 2015, 06:31

Word from the foothills that Sir Niel Cossons ihas entered the fray in retirement and is helping to try to persuade LCC to postpone the closure of Queen Street Mill while alternative funding sources are being explored. I don't think LCC will go for it but at least they are trying.....
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