Former Liberal Democrat councillor Ann Holtom has reacted scornfully to the recent announcement by Birmingham's new Labour administration about cuts, savings and possible job losses at the Council. Labour have claimed they need to make £600 million worth of cuts and threaten to sack 1,000 from the council workforce.
Ann said: "These figures are suspect and don't amount to much more than scaremongering by an already inefficient Labour council. In their local manifesto for this year's council elections Labour promised to 'deliver fairness in tough times and to offer the best chances for the next generation'. Instead of doing what they promised when they wanted your votes to take over the council, Labour are lining up their excuses as to why they are already failing the people of Birmingham and how they mean to slash and burn council services over the next couple of years."
"Of course they blame the government, the previous administration, anyone and anything except take responsibility for themselves. The actual additional savings needed next year are in the region of £50-60 million according to Labour's own figures. The £600m figure is guesswork and scaremongering hype based on the present level of government savings over the next five years and nobody knows what those figures will actually be."
"As Councillor Paul Tlisley, the Lib Dem leader on Birmingham Councl, has said, the council needs to get a lot more creative abut raising money for the things local residents expect it to do. We have to break out of the Whitehall straightjacket of funding and raise more of our own money without putting up council tax."
Ann concluded: " Only the Liberal Democrats have the plans and the imagination to do this. Labour doesn't. The only imagination Labour has is when it comes to thinking up election promises. Labour need to stop making excuses and run the council fairly and efficiently - like they said they would. And that's one promise they seem to have broken already."