I read with interest the Spalding Guardian article on April 6 about the forthcoming service review at South Holland District Council (‘Council shake-up will see better services but also redundancies’). The article begs a number of questions:
1- Given that the council has been run by Tory councillors since it was formed in the 1970s, have they only just noticed that it’s not running as efficiently as it might?
2- For the last six or seven years, staff numbers have been steadily decreasing. How can further job cuts result in better services?
3- Why did your article not give the trade unions who represent the staff an opportunity to comment?
4- If yet more jobs are axed after seven years of austerity, will there be a district council left worthy of the name? Will we soon end up with more councillors than officers?
Since the present government came to office in 2010, local government workers all over the country have suffered years of pay freezes and redundancies, with consequent increases in workload and stress.
And while our district council’s wage bill has plummeted in real terms due to redundancies and low or zero pay increases (with no proportionate decrease in our council tax), the bill we pay for councillors’ allowances and expenses has continued to escalate. Local Tory councillors are not responsible for the savage cuts which have been imposed on local government since 2010 (although they obviously helped to get the Conservative government which has imposed them elected), but perhaps they should be taking their share of the pain, and valuing the staff who do the real work a little more highly.