Saturday, May 26, 2012

Ignorance is no excuse for broken promises

Former Labour Cabinet Member, Councillor Keith Morrell, uses the same excuse that Southampton Labour Councillors are all starting to repeat since the election; namely that the have now "seen the council books."

You would imagine from this comment that "the books" are some hidden tome, locked away in a cupboard in the Civic Centre and that when the new Council Administration was elected in May they were then presented with a key so that they could unlock this secret information.

In fact the opposite is true. You have full access to all the financial information as a Councillor and indeed a responsibility to be aware of the state of the Council's finances. All Councillors are briefed by city officers, all the figures are presented in detail on the City Council website and it was only in February that every Councillor voted on budget proposals for the Council. Labour produced their own budget this year so you would have thought that they must known what they were doing.

When Labour made all their promises in the run up to the election they knew they had no intention of keeping them. Now they are in power they plead ignorance as their excuse.


Anonymous said...

Where did the £1.1 million come from to employ contractor binmen during the strike last year? Where did the £600,000 come from to fight the legal claim by the Unions? How much interest is the Council paying, that could have been spent on keeping terms and conditions of SCC staff, have you built up when in power? All this when you are pleading that you "simply havent the money"?

Jeremy Moulton said...

Labour and Conservative Administrations both face the same financial challenges.

The difference is that the Conservativees were straight with people and Labour misled.

Contractor costs were
predominantly covered by the savings which resulted from not paying striking staff.

What interest are you referrring to? Are you suggesting that the council should have abandoned capital projects like investment into schools?

Remember that the Conservatives did reach an agreement with the unions to restore some pay to SCC staff but the unions then changed their minds after the meeting and told their members to vote against their deal. That £600k was orginally set aside for staff terms and conditions.