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Lewisham's cuts 'forum'
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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #1
23-07-2010 03:56 PM

I can't see any reference on this forum to the new Lewisham 'Our Lewisham, Our Say' forum, which the borough have set up to seek views, in the light of the current public expenditure crisis, on what council services should be ring-fenced,which could be dropped and what scope there is for filling the gaps by voluntary action. There might well be FH-specific aspects which members of this forum might want to comment on, I'd have thought.

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kingfisher


Posts: 18
Joined: Jul 2008
Post: #2
23-07-2010 06:10 PM

This is also being discussed on the Sydenham Forum.

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lillam


Posts: 129
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #3
25-07-2010 11:10 AM

Sorry to be negative, but this new era of listening and engaging with citizens on the big issues is all for show. Remember New Labour's Big Conversation? Or how about LibCons 'tell us what laws you want rid off'? Or the best are consultations, the results of which have absolutely no effect on policy.

It is wishful thinking to think we have reached a stage of direct democracy where we can meaningfully influence the decision making processes of elected officials. Whatsmore demonstrations have become meaningless, as have petitions.

That said, the scale of cuts on our immediate horizon is horrific, and we do need to keep tabs on what decisions are being made, and where necessary organise locally to protect our essential services. As long as this forum is part of a broader process of protecting our services then its not all bad, but it is far from the be all and end all.

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Perryman


Posts: 809
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #4
25-07-2010 12:13 PM

I think you are right lillam.

But if we do not constructively engage in the process, they will claim we are not interested.

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dbboy


Posts: 201
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #5
12-08-2010 03:38 PM

As Lewisham Council need to make significant savings over two phases:

"Phase One: The Mayor instructed officers to develop and consult on a range of savings options presented to the meeting that would save £21.6 million from the Councilís budget and to report back to Mayor and Cabinet in November with final proposals.

Phase Two: The Mayor instructed officers to develop a further package of savings, worth £10.2 million, with a view to reporting back in November 2010 for a decision on whether to consult or implement these options as appropriate.

The Mayor also instructed officers to research the implications of increasing fees and charges across a wide range of services to move them closer to the London average, so that detailed proposals can be brought forward for consideration alongside other budget measures."

So why does Lewisham Council have a Mayor and Chief Executive? Surely only one is needed, infact why not just get rid of both to help save cira £250,000.

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NewForester


Posts: 377
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #6
15-08-2010 09:25 AM

Quote:
The Mayor also instructed officers to research the implications of increasing fees and charges across a wide range of services to move them closer to the London average, so that detailed proposals can be brought forward for consideration alongside other budget measures."

So CPZ fees will probably double...

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sydenhamcentral


Posts: 269
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #7
02-09-2010 10:26 AM

There is a survey that is worth filling out:
http://consult.lewisham.gov.uk/portal/c/...am_our_say

It includes questions on libraries, roads, sports centres etc.

I hope people realize when they fill them out that the recession wont last forever and that some cuts can be temporary, but if libraries are closed, they are gone forever.

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dbboy


Posts: 201
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #8
03-10-2010 04:47 PM

I have a challenge for Lewisham Council's Mayor and Chief Executive.

As Eric Pickles has said, no local authority Chief Executive should earn more than the Prime Minster, so why don't they both stand up to be counted and take a pay cut.

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #9
03-10-2010 07:15 PM

Who's Eric Pickles?

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NewForester


Posts: 377
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #10
03-10-2010 08:36 PM

Can somebody explain the purpose of the "Our Lewisham, Our Say" survey? I had a look at it and the budgets they're asking about total roughly 25% of Lewisham's £900M budget, yet if you disagree with ony cut, you are asked to reallocate it to one of the other categories within that 25%.

£25M _ _ 2.8% _ Cleaning, Waste & Recycling
£4M _ _ 0.5% _ Libraries
£15M _ _ 1.7% _ Town Centre and Business
£103M _ 11.4% _ Adult Social Care
£16M _ _ 1.8% _ Roads
£4M _ _ 0.4% _ Supporting NEETs, unemployed
£1M _ _ 0.1% _ Climate Change
£10M _ _ 1.1% _ Supporting Children and Families
£6M _ _ 0.7% _ Activities for Young People
£30M _ _ 3.3% _ Reducing Crime and Antisocial behaviour
£6M _ _ 0.7% _ Sports and Leisure

£681M _ 75.6% _ Other commitments

I realise that some of their services are statutory, but since they are asking how you would share the pain, this consultation is pointless.

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alexfeakes


Posts: 28
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #11
04-10-2010 08:40 AM

"Can somebody explain the purpose of the "Our Lewisham, Our Say" survey? I had a look at it and the budgets they're asking about total roughly 25% of Lewisham's £900M budget, yet if you disagree with ony cut, you are asked to reallocate it to one of the other categories within that 25%."

The £900m (actually £1.1bn last year) figure is the gross budget, ie including income and expenditure on providing some services and a lot government grant income that passes straight through the council as expenditure on statutory services (housing, schools etc).

The 25% is looking at the net figure, around £280m, which is called the 'net controllable budget', which, as it suggests, is the budget which the council has most control over. This is funded by council tax (about £90m), unringfenced government grants (about £50m) and Lewisham's share of the national non-domestic rates redistribution (about £140m). It's these last two sources of income (as well as some of the pass-through grants) that are being cut, hence we're being asked to look at savings within those services funded by them.

Personally, I would like to see the council take a much broader look at all the services being provided (including those funded through the 'pass-through' grants I mentioned above), as there may well be savings that could be made through restructuring how they are delivered in toto. However, although I believe there is some thought being put in to this behind the scenes, the 'Our place, Our say' process doesn't encompass this at all.

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junegapi


Posts: 106
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #12
05-10-2010 04:25 PM

Alex, Do we know how many chauffeured limos LBL uses and also how many cars does LBL have? Let's get rid of all bar one, the Mayor's official car, but even that could be hired for the evening or whenever His Worship needs to get around on official business. All Council officials should be using the excellent Public Transport we have in the Borough. This would result in a small saving, but it'd be a start.

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dbboy


Posts: 201
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #13
05-10-2010 09:21 PM

Lets start saving the Council some money (which our council tax pays for ) and get rid of the Mayor and Chief Executive, they cost way to much. I'd happily do the job and a better one at that for half what they get.

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alexfeakes


Posts: 28
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #14
06-10-2010 08:33 AM

@junegapi - as far as I am aware, Lewisham have only one car for 'official duties' which is leased

@dbboy - you've got no argument from me in terms of scrapping the mayoral system (unfortunately, the last government made it very hard to get rid of them - see s66 et seq, esp s69: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2007...028_en.pdf).

I can't really see how an organisation as large and complex as a London Borough could manage without something similar to a chief executive (even if it had a much flatter structure), so I wouldn't want to propose that. On the cost point though, it's possible to make savings here, but perhaps more importantly we should ensure that the CEO devotes his energies wholly to the borough.

It's also worth noting that if the top 70 earners in the council took a 10% pay cut, the savings could fund the libraries that are threatened with closure...

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dbboy


Posts: 201
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #15
06-10-2010 10:09 AM

Ok, the Council may still need a Chief Executive, however that doesn't justify the current incumbent being paid more than the Prime Minister. Our council taxes pay for this, so I'd rather see the money better and spent on things residents can gain a benefit from.

We don't need a Mayor as well, so lets get shot of one of them, I don't mind which one, I just want to see the borough start make some quick wins and start saving money.

In terms of the top 70 earners in the council, I'd suggest a 25% cut in salary and they'd still be earning loads.

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michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #16
06-10-2010 11:14 AM

How much money could be saved by merging Lewisham and Southwark councils? A single mayor and CEO is just the start of the savings and the new council would be able to take the best staff and practice from the two boroughs.

Lawrence House could be converted into a new primary school.

Given that the CEO of Lewisham controls a budget of £900m I don't think it is surprising he is paid around £200k. To give a comparison in the private sector, Trinity Mirror PLC has revenues of £763m and the CEO is paid a salary of £1.4m and bonus in shares worth £400k. This is not an exceptional salary for an organisation of this size.

A council's budget is different from a private company's revenue, but it gives a sense of the scale of operations.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #17
06-10-2010 11:33 AM

Roz
I worry about your knowledge

Two weeks ago or so you said you did not know what Neets meant
Now you are saying who is Eric Pickles

In both cases . You can't be serious.

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