Anyone who has anything more than a passing interest in the behaviour of the Derby City Council Labour Leadership will be well aware of the constant politicking taken in every nook and cranny of Council activities. Inter-party provocation is part of the process of local politics and should represent a level of healthy competition, and inspire creativity – with the ultimate beneficiary being the residents of Derby as each politician vies for votes as they try to ingratiate themselves to the electorate. This is the normal model of behaviour.
The local Labour leadership seemed to have adopted a more sinister “nuclear” option in the City. Cllr Rawson sums up the strategy in this short video
Their target is not the opposition Councillors, but the Tory Government. They see themselves as part of a wider, national campaign but with few levers at their disposal – other than budget decisions, media manipulation…..and the disquiet of the residents of Derby.
Anyone who listens to any speech by a member of Council Cabinet will be rendered numb by the inevitable reference to the Central Government cuts, and their total inability to be creative in the face of that position. To which my response is simple – if you feel uncomfortable in that situation and have run out of ideas – then resign. Thousands of private companies throughout the country are buffeted by external influences over which they have no control, but their accountability to their employees, shareholders, and other beneficiaries, is to be agile and develop strategies that manage that environment. Constantly complaining and creating negativity is NOT Leadership behaviour.
There is no doubt that there have been cuts to the Grants provided by Central Government – but in total those grants only represent 20% of the Council’s total income (80% comes from Council Tax, Business rates, and Other income):
To contextualise. These are funding totals for the Council
Actual in 2014/15 £215m
Budgetted 2015/16 £222m
Budgetted 2016/17 £219m
Across 3 years it is broadly constant, despite the Central Government cuts.
The Labour Leadership should concentrate on what is right for the people of Derby, now in 2016, and not have one over-arching agenda item to oust the Tory Government in 2020….at the expense of the people of Derby.
On March 3 2016 when the Council had an opportunity to present an olive branch to the Voluntary Sector ( as identified in Cllr Skelton’s amendment) when £173k surplus was identified – did they make the choice to relieve some of the pressure that they had created? No! It was their choice to transfer it to reserves – that was not Tory Govt Policy! This was the Council Labour Leadership who made the cynical decision to continue to starve funds from the Voluntary Sector!
Categories: Derby City Council