Plans for £3m black hole in Blackburn with Darwn Council’s budget revealed

BLACKBURN with Darwen finance boss Andy Kay last night outlined proposals to fill the town hall’s £3million budget ‘black hole’ as council tax was frozen for the third year running.

He warned that when a £500,000 a-year government ‘bribe’ to peg the ‘rates’ ended in 2015, it would leave the council with a further cash gap to plug.

The borough will keep its share of council tax at £1,271.88 for an average family home in Band D meaning it will total £1,483.42 for all local government services in the 12 months from April.

A property in the lowest Band A will pay £988.95 in total for council, police and fire services.

Coun Kay said agreement over unpaid staff leave would save £890,000, further ‘back office’ cuts £750,000, while reviewing public health costs would find the rest of the £3million reductions needed.

Already 500 council jobs are to go, old people’s homes will shut, children’s centres close and leisure centre charges rise as hours reduce.

He told the annual council finance meeting: “Since 2010 central government has implemented draconian and vindictive proposals to fundamentally change the financial framework governing local authorities in the North and give to Tory authorities in the South.

“In making these difficult decisions, the Labour Group has sought to achieve efficiencies, transform and modernise the services and mitigate the impact on residents. Our residents expect, need and deserve high quality services, I pledge that we will continue to do our utmost to deliver those aims.”

Tory spokesman Colin Rigby said: “I have concerns around business rates. The collection of council tax will be difficult with benefit recipients now being responsible for payment.

“The four days unpaid leave is a start, but ignores the scope for a reduction in sickness and absenteeism which could save £1.3million per year. In short there are several areas which could produce further savings.”

Liberal Democrat leader David Foster said: “We support slimming down senior management but we believe in slimming down senior posts for councillors. If we did this we could retain all of our school crossing patrols.”

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11:31am Tue 5 Mar 13

jack daniels says...

I think it's disappointing that Councillor Colin Rigby has failed to look at the facts when citing council sick rates as a place for saving money. Back in January 2013 the Lancashire Telegraph stated that according to accountancy firm Price Waterhouse Coopers in 2010/2011, private sector workers took 10 days sick, while Blackburn with Darwen council, with 2,800 staff, has seen its sickness rate per employee fall to 9.67 in 2010/2011 and 9.26 in 2011/2012.

I believe it is despicable that he can fire unfounded criticism towards the hard working staff at the council simply as a smoke screen for the real reasons the council is in financial trouble, even though these very same staff have in effect collectively taken another pay cut, saving the council £890,000.

But then again, what do you expect form a Tory…..
I think it's disappointing that Councillor Colin Rigby has failed to look at the facts when citing council sick rates as a place for saving money. Back in January 2013 the Lancashire Telegraph stated that according to accountancy firm Price Waterhouse Coopers in 2010/2011, private sector workers took 10 days sick, while Blackburn with Darwen council, with 2,800 staff, has seen its sickness rate per employee fall to 9.67 in 2010/2011 and 9.26 in 2011/2012. I believe it is despicable that he can fire unfounded criticism towards the hard working staff at the council simply as a smoke screen for the real reasons the council is in financial trouble, even though these very same staff have in effect collectively taken another pay cut, saving the council £890,000. But then again, what do you expect form a Tory….. jack daniels

12:10pm Tue 5 Mar 13

turd moor says...

they ain't going to change their minds on sick pay matter,thats already been put to them
they ain't going to change their minds on sick pay matter,thats already been put to them turd moor

1:03pm Tue 5 Mar 13

Rumpole says...

The council could stop outsourcing work to a private company like Capita and save a couple of million pounds that Capita make in profits for doing a job the council get paid to do by the taxpayers!
The council could stop outsourcing work to a private company like Capita and save a couple of million pounds that Capita make in profits for doing a job the council get paid to do by the taxpayers! Rumpole

1:29pm Tue 5 Mar 13

Jo_Tom says...

Rumpole wrote:
The council could stop outsourcing work to a private company like Capita and save a couple of million pounds that Capita make in profits for doing a job the council get paid to do by the taxpayers!
The Council pay Capita to do the work because it's cheaper than if they ran the service in house. This means the council can then redirect the money to other services which residents value.

The Government's budget cuts are forcing councils to look at outsourcing services to large private companies who can do it cheaper whether they want to or not. It's privatisation through the back door which has been Tory policy all along. The NHS is following the same path.
[quote][p][bold]Rumpole[/bold] wrote: The council could stop outsourcing work to a private company like Capita and save a couple of million pounds that Capita make in profits for doing a job the council get paid to do by the taxpayers![/p][/quote]The Council pay Capita to do the work because it's cheaper than if they ran the service in house. This means the council can then redirect the money to other services which residents value. The Government's budget cuts are forcing councils to look at outsourcing services to large private companies who can do it cheaper whether they want to or not. It's privatisation through the back door which has been Tory policy all along. The NHS is following the same path. Jo_Tom

2:38pm Tue 5 Mar 13

Rumpole says...

Jo_Tom wrote:
Rumpole wrote:
The council could stop outsourcing work to a private company like Capita and save a couple of million pounds that Capita make in profits for doing a job the council get paid to do by the taxpayers!
The Council pay Capita to do the work because it's cheaper than if they ran the service in house. This means the council can then redirect the money to other services which residents value.

The Government's budget cuts are forcing councils to look at outsourcing services to large private companies who can do it cheaper whether they want to or not. It's privatisation through the back door which has been Tory policy all along. The NHS is following the same path.
So you're basically saying that the council is not capable of running an efficient and cost effective council tax department!

So you must also believe that Capita can do the job properly, and cheaper despite them making a profit, without abusing the legal process and using bailiffs as glorified bullies to harass and intimidate people when the rules and regulations provide a cheaper alternative to using bailiffs at all?

Surely it would be cheaper for the council to employ people the same as Capita to collect the CT and keep any profits Capita would have made in the council coffers?
[quote][p][bold]Jo_Tom[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rumpole[/bold] wrote: The council could stop outsourcing work to a private company like Capita and save a couple of million pounds that Capita make in profits for doing a job the council get paid to do by the taxpayers![/p][/quote]The Council pay Capita to do the work because it's cheaper than if they ran the service in house. This means the council can then redirect the money to other services which residents value. The Government's budget cuts are forcing councils to look at outsourcing services to large private companies who can do it cheaper whether they want to or not. It's privatisation through the back door which has been Tory policy all along. The NHS is following the same path.[/p][/quote]So you're basically saying that the council is not capable of running an efficient and cost effective council tax department! So you must also believe that Capita can do the job properly, and cheaper despite them making a profit, without abusing the legal process and using bailiffs as glorified bullies to harass and intimidate people when the rules and regulations provide a cheaper alternative to using bailiffs at all? Surely it would be cheaper for the council to employ people the same as Capita to collect the CT and keep any profits Capita would have made in the council coffers? Rumpole

2:50pm Tue 5 Mar 13

Jo_Tom says...

Rumpole wrote:
Jo_Tom wrote:
Rumpole wrote: The council could stop outsourcing work to a private company like Capita and save a couple of million pounds that Capita make in profits for doing a job the council get paid to do by the taxpayers!
The Council pay Capita to do the work because it's cheaper than if they ran the service in house. This means the council can then redirect the money to other services which residents value. The Government's budget cuts are forcing councils to look at outsourcing services to large private companies who can do it cheaper whether they want to or not. It's privatisation through the back door which has been Tory policy all along. The NHS is following the same path.
So you're basically saying that the council is not capable of running an efficient and cost effective council tax department! So you must also believe that Capita can do the job properly, and cheaper despite them making a profit, without abusing the legal process and using bailiffs as glorified bullies to harass and intimidate people when the rules and regulations provide a cheaper alternative to using bailiffs at all? Surely it would be cheaper for the council to employ people the same as Capita to collect the CT and keep any profits Capita would have made in the council coffers?
I've not said that the council can't run the service or that Capita are doing a job. I'm merely pointing out that Government are forcing councils to outsource. Everyone knows that large companies offer greater economies of scale.

The sensible option is for authorities to come together and either share their services or form a unitary council. It's whether Council bosses and Leaders are ready to debate it seriously - turkey's voting for Christmas and all that.
[quote][p][bold]Rumpole[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jo_Tom[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rumpole[/bold] wrote: The council could stop outsourcing work to a private company like Capita and save a couple of million pounds that Capita make in profits for doing a job the council get paid to do by the taxpayers![/p][/quote]The Council pay Capita to do the work because it's cheaper than if they ran the service in house. This means the council can then redirect the money to other services which residents value. The Government's budget cuts are forcing councils to look at outsourcing services to large private companies who can do it cheaper whether they want to or not. It's privatisation through the back door which has been Tory policy all along. The NHS is following the same path.[/p][/quote]So you're basically saying that the council is not capable of running an efficient and cost effective council tax department! So you must also believe that Capita can do the job properly, and cheaper despite them making a profit, without abusing the legal process and using bailiffs as glorified bullies to harass and intimidate people when the rules and regulations provide a cheaper alternative to using bailiffs at all? Surely it would be cheaper for the council to employ people the same as Capita to collect the CT and keep any profits Capita would have made in the council coffers?[/p][/quote]I've not said that the council can't run the service or that Capita are doing a job. I'm merely pointing out that Government are forcing councils to outsource. Everyone knows that large companies offer greater economies of scale. The sensible option is for authorities to come together and either share their services or form a unitary council. It's whether Council bosses and Leaders are ready to debate it seriously - turkey's voting for Christmas and all that. Jo_Tom

3:14pm Tue 5 Mar 13

ex council slave says...

HOW MANY SWIMMING POOLS DOES BLACKBURN NEED DARWEN HAS ONE BLACKBURN FOUR ON MANAGER CAN RUN THE BLOODY LOT THEY RUN THEMSELVES OR THE DID WHEN I WORKED FOR THE COUNSIL
HOW MANY SWIMMING POOLS DOES BLACKBURN NEED DARWEN HAS ONE BLACKBURN FOUR ON MANAGER CAN RUN THE BLOODY LOT THEY RUN THEMSELVES OR THE DID WHEN I WORKED FOR THE COUNSIL ex council slave

3:17pm Tue 5 Mar 13

Rumpole says...

ex council slave wrote:
HOW MANY SWIMMING POOLS DOES BLACKBURN NEED DARWEN HAS ONE BLACKBURN FOUR ON MANAGER CAN RUN THE BLOODY LOT THEY RUN THEMSELVES OR THE DID WHEN I WORKED FOR THE COUNSIL
That is why you 'used' to work for the council!

Too much common sense!
[quote][p][bold]ex council slave[/bold] wrote: HOW MANY SWIMMING POOLS DOES BLACKBURN NEED DARWEN HAS ONE BLACKBURN FOUR ON MANAGER CAN RUN THE BLOODY LOT THEY RUN THEMSELVES OR THE DID WHEN I WORKED FOR THE COUNSIL[/p][/quote]That is why you 'used' to work for the council! Too much common sense! Rumpole

9:28pm Tue 5 Mar 13

notac says...

ex council slave wrote:
HOW MANY SWIMMING POOLS DOES BLACKBURN NEED DARWEN HAS ONE BLACKBURN FOUR ON MANAGER CAN RUN THE BLOODY LOT THEY RUN THEMSELVES OR THE DID WHEN I WORKED FOR THE COUNSIL
I hope you did not work in Education - sorry the Skools!
[quote][p][bold]ex council slave[/bold] wrote: HOW MANY SWIMMING POOLS DOES BLACKBURN NEED DARWEN HAS ONE BLACKBURN FOUR ON MANAGER CAN RUN THE BLOODY LOT THEY RUN THEMSELVES OR THE DID WHEN I WORKED FOR THE COUNSIL[/p][/quote]I hope you did not work in Education - sorry the Skools! notac

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