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November 18, 2009

The Conservative led Scrutiny Panel forced Lib Dem leader Cllr Osbourne to admit at last night’s Scrutiny of the One Council Project that £2 million savings that had been previously  promised have not been achieved saying ‘It is down to us – we are the Administration.’

In another shocking piece of news the Lib Dems  announced there will be 200 fewer Council posts by 2013 and that any future savings will depend on the reduction of staff. The Scrutiny Panel were also told that the future savings were ‘not in the bag’ and more needed to be done. Conservative portfolio holder for the One Council Project Cllr Nick Kilby expressed his grave concern and said ‘The Lib Dems know, like us, that the Council cannot go on as we are, and as in all their ideas, they sound good until the wheels fall off! They fail every time to give the political leadership that these projects need. Worse still they fail to make the savings the Lib Dems have promised.’

Deputy Conservative Leader, Cllr. Paul Johnston, said: ‘It’s pretty obvious that morale among some staff is quite low and, through staff turnover, this is starting to feed through into the experience of citizens accessing Council services . Staff reductions may well be inevitable but they must be handled sensitively so that staff are engaged in the process of change, not threatened by it.’

Conservative Leader Cllr Howard Jones said   ‘We are concerned that savings which were promised are still not being realised and have serious doubts about the robustness of the financial plan. Two of the projects are at least two years behind schedule and that in spite of assurances given we are concerned that the Customer First project neither actively engages with the customer nor engages sensitively with the staff. It is a wasted opportunity to improve efficiency and make positive changes for residents. We would do it differently and do it better.’

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