Close-up view of the cambridgeshire cliff-edge: it doesn’t have to be like this


Already, County Council budget planning discussions for February have been taking place in earnest, with a close-up view of what is increasingly accepted as potential bankruptcy by 2020.  At the same time, Council staff are being forced to take unpaid leave.

 

1) Government ‘revenue support grant’, after falling to zero, will morph into something called ‘negative revenue support grant’ whereby Cambridgeshire County Council, pays into central government coffers.  This is a Conservative central government directive.

2) The practice of zero council tax rise in recent years means that the County Council is about £26 million worse off than would have been the case had it imposed the government permitted annual rise of 1.99%.  Council tax freeze has been the political choice of the ruling Conservative group, in agreement with UKIP councillors, and has meant that the council has not even kept up with inflation.  Going forward, the ruling Conservative group plans to resume council tax freeze for three years, starting in 2020.   Is this due to a perceived advantage in local elections?,  even though council tax freeze results in further elimination of public services.

3) The Leader of the Conservative-run Council openly indicates his expectation that Cambridgeshire will go the way of Northamptonshire bankruptcy in two years' time. 

4)  Council staff are being forced to take 3 days unpaid leave over Christmas - http://www.cambridgeindependent.co.uk/news/cambridge/1-800-cambridgeshire-county-council-staff-will-be-forced-to-take-three-days-unpaid-leave-at-christmas-1-5725345


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