It is very rarely I agree with Colin Rigby, but on the article below from the Lancashire Telegraph I did. It was extremely worrying that the Council had failed to spend over £ 20 million. All this money left at the end of a financial year meant that there had been severe cuts in spending, on day to day issues like repairing roads, providing benefit advice services, providing care for our elderly, money to local communities, bus services and general street cleansing.
Blackburn with Darwen council’s unspent millions
COUNCIL bosses have admitted they are concerned about “vast” amounts of taxpayers’ money left unspent at the end of the year.
Ahead of the end of the financial year this month, it has been revealed that Blackburn with Darwen council has spent £28.8million on major projects like roads and buildings – just 55 per cent of the cash it set aside a year ago.
Tory resources chief Coun Colin Rigby said: “I share some of Kate’s concerns regarding our inability to spend money during the financial year.
“Fifty-five per cent is a worry to me and we are trying to work on it to ensure we don’t have these vast amount of money at the end of the next year.”
Well for once Councillor Rigby has kept his promise he has done a Viv Richards ,spend spend, spend. For those much younger than me, she was a lady who won a lot of money on the pools, did not know how to handle it, wasted it all and ended up penniless. The Council is now in the same boat, facing huge cuts in service to compensate for the foolish spending over the last few months,
Money wasted, not on day to day services, but on buying buildings for crazy money, Bentley’s, a building that was bought on the back of a lottery bid that even Councillor Rigby admitted had a very slim chance of succeeding, wasting £ 50K on the bid and over £ 500k on the building. An undertakers, again well over £ 500K, a printing business, £400K, and another undisclosed sum, (sorry I cannot say the amount , but it is higher than the two I have just mentioned) or I will be reported to standards for criticising the Council for wasting even more money).
All this at a time when properties are at their lowest value for years and we all need to tighten our belts and spend wisely.
Councillor Rigby, Executive Member for Resources, has kept his promise not to under spend by this amount next year. There is still six months to go, and there is no chance of an under spend, he and his Coalition Colleagues have wasted millions of pounds. We all now have to face the consequences of this waste, cuts in streets cleansing, maintaining our older people’s homes, resurfacing our pot filled roads, bus services and grants to community groups.
Perhaps they are setting out the same principles as the Tory Leader of Barnet Council. The “ budget airline” Council has advocated the “ no frills” public services, where families get less but pay more and only the wealthy few can afford the level of services they want..
Cut services in the areas with the highest need, and develop new ones for the wealthiest residents.