PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tizer » 23 Jan 2017, 11:07

They're practising so they can match Trump's `alternative facts' approach to politics!

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Whyperion » 23 Jan 2017, 19:26

I half caught some party spokesman / mp? on Sunday Politics on BBC1 whom claimed that the problem was not enough places were unitary authorities, which meant that there was inefficency in Local Government. The presenter / interviewer did not push him to explain this point or provide any kind of substance of estimated figures to back this up. I presume this could work, but with some adjoining authorities sharing 'back office' functions, like legal & planning services, waste , refuse & litter processing, greenspace management, highways maintenance. I would also create large local Education & Childrens services boards funded direct from UK Taxation and move social care into NHS management and budgets which would give long term a better balance of emergency health spend and clinical to recovery and health managment , again all funded Nationally from (increased) NI contributions. Council tax would be fairer if bands increased in number. Overall that should give a slight efficient improvement in local needs delivery and funding.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 24 Jan 2017, 03:51

If that's right Tiz they are certainly succeeding!
David, good! I can bin it now, it offends me simply by sitting on the table!
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by David Whipp » 24 Jan 2017, 07:36

There are rustlings in the undergrowth about imposing unitary 'local' government for Lancashire, or Pennine Lancashire.

To my mind, that would be an end of any proper local government for us.

The potential for this happening is one of the reasons we're taking on more and more district council stuff from Pendle. If it does happen, at least some of our local facilities will remain in local hands.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 24 Jan 2017, 07:45

I suspect you are right and agree with your assessment. Good ploy getting as much local control as possible. Imagine Barlick with control and a Local Sales Tax......
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 26 Jan 2017, 06:53

Rough sleepers...... It's a disgrace.
Read THIS Guardian report on child poverty and ill health. “The bottom line is that the UK could do far more to improve child health and wellbeing. UK performance on several measures, though better than the United States, is worse than many European countries,” says Professor Neena Modi, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), in the report. Particularly troubling are the stark inequalities in child health that have widened in the last five years.
Note that the US is worse than us but then wonder at the fact that in a rich country like the UK we have what has been described as a 'public health time-bomb' and our partner in crime is another rich nation. Who cares about this in government? I have read reports from the late 19th and early 20th centuries that are not as bad as this.
Isn't it about time there was a sea change in government priorities? Meanwhile May is going to jet off to the US and massage the 'special relationship'. Will she mention this? This is part of the 'relationship' we need to ditch immediately! Again, and I am using this word a lot lately, it is a disgrace!!
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 29 Jan 2017, 05:54

Susan told me about a friend of hers who is a prison officer and she said that there were two main problems at the moment apart from the general under-staffing and funding cuts. One major problem is that staff recruited by the private contractors are paid less than officers who hold contracts and this is a cause of friction. She also said that while drone delivery of drugs was a problem there are even worse routes in for some of the new drugs. One of them, 'Spice', can be sprayed on letters sent in to prisoners and recovered by them. The letters are vetted by special dogs and the problem is that the scent is so powerful to them that it is all pervasive and they can't identify the source. Even worse, the dogs are affected by the drug and in effect become 'high'.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 31 Jan 2017, 06:19

Read THIS for a BBC report on conditions in accommodation given to asylum seekers. Much of this is provided by private companies on contract to the government and it looks as though the quality of the accommodation is being driven down by a combination of underfunding and profit-taking.This is a national disgrace......
Have a look at THIS for a dire report from the Institute of Fiscal Studies which severely criticises the government apprenticeship scheme. Basically it isn't working and the IFS questions the methodology of government assessments which say all is going well. If there is one thing we need to face post Brexit economic conditions it is skilled young workers. Go figure!
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 27 Feb 2017, 07:09

Look at THIS and feel proud to be British!
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 03 Mar 2017, 09:02

I have been banging on for years about the eventual consequences of austerity and particularly the cuts to essential services. I'm sure you have all seen the recent official reports on the police and the NHS. Then we have the cuts to education which our MP denied but has now gone very quiet about.
This is the tip of a very large iceberg, there are even more important changes to society quietly gathering strength but not yet immediately obvious. Some of these, like under-educating and depriving our young children of opportunity will take many years to become evident and then there will be an argument about what caused them and what the cure is. We had this debate in the 19th century and made the improvements. The Tories are, as I have predicted so often, hell bent on taking us back to those laisser faire policies. These policies are shameful and yet when taxed we are bombarded with spurious statistics 'proving' that more money is being invested but failing to address the fact that this isn't the point as it takes no account of changed circumstances like greater demand and higher costs.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tizer » 03 Mar 2017, 11:02

When I read elsewhere Pluggy telling us how he was suddenly taken ill but admitted to Airedale hospital and had lots of tests I think how very, very fortunate we are to have the NHS. No need to worry about whether or not you can afford treatment, nobody saying `How are you going to pay for this?' Nobody making you sign a form to take a loan to pay for treatment. Imagine what that's like when you're feeling very ill, weak and vulnerable. Providing medical treatment free at the point of use must be be one of the most defining characteristics of a civilised country. It's imperative that we ensure the NHS is well-funded and well-managed. And we must never go down Trump's route of rolling back such medical care.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 04 Mar 2017, 06:01

From your moth to God's Ear Tiz. Exactly right and I speak as one who experienced the old system during the war...... The present generation can't imagine our joy when we saw the institution of the NHS. And apart from anything else, in terms of bangs per buck, it's the most economical system in the world because no profit is taken out of it.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 08 Mar 2017, 04:44

The latest row over education cuts is coming to the boil before the budget. The government has deployed the old Cunning Wheeze of instituting a cut in real terms, issuing statements that more money is being spent than in the past, ignoring rising costs. Then as pressure mounts they announce an 'increase' in funding but direct most of it to pet projects like Grammar Schools. At the same time they ignore the fact that due to their meddling with the teacher training programme by taking it off the universities and outsourcing it to an American company who have screwed up there is a growing shortage of new entrants and class sizes will have to rise. This is incompetent management of the source of the new thinking and skills in R&D which they know is the only way out of our problems with industry.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 09 Mar 2017, 05:14

two young hard working friends on low wage are in a dreadful pickle. They are living in B&B accommodation while they try to scrape up the deposit on a rented house. They need almost £2000 and it's almost impossible. This is where the cuts are hitting, right down at the bottom of the pile. Years ago they would have had access to a Council House on a reasonable rent. Those days have gone and this in one of the richest countries in the world. They weren't mentioned in the Budget......
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 10 Mar 2017, 05:29

I apologise for banging on about this but I watch these comfortable, well fed and housed political figures and can't help wondering if they have the slightest idea of the amount of insecurity, poverty and absolute misery that is growing amongst the least well provided for in society. If questioned they assure us that they are aware and doing all they can but this is a lie. Their attention is focussed on higher things like the revolving door out of politics and their pension arrangements. Enormous problems are building in society and sooner or later they will have to address them because their own comfortable lives depend on a well-ordered society. Watch this space!
Well, it didn't take long! Shortly after I wrote this I heard a report on Farming Today that makes you wonder how bad things are. 18months ago there was a serious pollution event on the River Leven that killed many fish and was described by DEFRA as being one of the worst it had seen. At the time they said that the source of the pollution had been discovered but no more could be said as 'investigations are ongoing'. 18 months later FT asked the same question and got the same answer, still ongoing and nothing to add. It appears as though DEFRA, which has had severe funding cuts and is lined up for another 6% cut this year, isn't able to finalise a prosecution. FT reports that this is becoming common and the effect is that polluters are getting the message that it's OK. Nobody is going to bring them to book. It raises the question of whether the body responsible for supervising our environment is fit for purpose. Note to our leaders, deterioration of the environment eventually affects them as well......
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tizer » 10 Mar 2017, 11:06

It's not only industrial polluters, it's water companies too, allowing untreated sewage to get into waterways and on the beaches. Surfers in Cornwall have been fighting a continuing battle with them for years because every time we get heavy rain untreated sewage overflows into small rivers, killing the wildlife and then reaching the beaches and poisoning surfers and bathers. They know they can get away with it, so they let it continue. If it's happening in beautiful Cornwall you can be sure it's happening elsewhere in Britain.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 11 Mar 2017, 04:27

I am sure you are right Tiz. The overall picture is building that all of our essential public services are in trouble. I note that Justine Greening was heckled by the teachers when she peddled the line that investment in new grammar schools would be a 'good thing'. (LINK)
How crazy can government policies get? Running an education system down like this when it is generally agreed that to survive in a modern world we need to nurture the skills of the young must be fairly high up on the gross stupidity index.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tizer » 11 Mar 2017, 12:48

On the farming news just before 7.00 this morning anglers were being interviewed about river pollution. They are finding that they now get much slower, or even no, response to their reports of pollution, yet it's getting more common because the polluters are getting away with it. Prof Jim Lovelock always says that it's the anglers on the tributary of the Tamar near his Dartmoor cottage who know most about the state of the river.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 12 Mar 2017, 03:52

I listened to that as well Tiz. It seems to me we have a failing service.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 17 Mar 2017, 07:35

I have commented recently about the crisis in school funding which the government denies bleating on about increases in funding but refusing to recognise that in effect this funding is diminishing due to increases in costs. We are told this morning by the Education Policy Institute that the average secondary school in England will lose 6 teachers this year. Yesterday, nine Tory MPs (Enough to overturn the government majority in a debate) met the government officials to reinforce the point that we are failing our schools. The implication is clear, they are prepared to vote against their own party to reverse these cuts. The wilful neglect of our children's education is a disgrace. Even in some state schools parents are being asked to contribute towards running costs like text books. Did any of us ever imagine that things could come to this?
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 20 Mar 2017, 05:36

We've just had more warnings about underfunding in the NHS and this morning there is a report based on BBC research for Panorama that many social care providers are on the brink of collapse due to the low fees paid by cash-strapped local councils. 'Safe in our hands' ....?
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Whyperion » 23 Mar 2017, 23:33

Stanley wrote:
09 Mar 2017, 05:14
two young hard working friends on low wage are in a dreadful pickle. They are living in B&B accommodation while they try to scrape up the deposit on a rented house. They need almost £2000 and it's almost impossible. This is where the cuts are hitting, right down at the bottom of the pile. Years ago they would have had access to a Council House on a reasonable rent. Those days have gone and this in one of the richest countries in the world. They weren't mentioned in the Budget......
There are some (charitable) schemes that will stump up the deposit and fees , but its a bit of a postcode lottery to see where and to what deserving group membership it covers

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 27 Mar 2017, 03:10

I see the local Tories have started their campaign for the May County Council elections. They are highlighting spending cuts but not a word about the genesis for the shortage of money in the Council's coffers.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 30 Mar 2017, 06:13

Thanks to PE for drawing this to my attention yesterday. Can you remember the NHS contaminated blood scandal that resulted in many people being infected by HIV after routine blood transfusions and the long fight they had to get compensation? In an effort to stave off a further court case for compensation the Health Secretary Hunt has come up with a cunning Wheeze. The problem arises from the contention that sufferers from Hepatitis C and Haemophilia are not treated as well as those with HIV.
Hunt has reneged on his promise to increase payments beyond 2018 for all classes of victims. The latest consultation document reveals that in order to improve payments for Hepatitis C, no extra money will be put into the scheme, it will be redistributed resulting in lower payments for some.
How mean can they get!
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 27 Jun 2017, 06:26

I'm not sure whether the reports this morning of the catastrophic errors made in the treatment of patients records by NHS SBS, a subsidiary of the NHS is the result of underfunding or simply staggering incompetence. Whatever, it is clear that Jeremy hunt knew about it in 2016 and it has only come to light because of press investigation and exposure. Safe in our hands?
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