Thursday, 5 March 2009

Lib Dems slam Redcar and Cleveland Council's loss of two stars

"How can Redcar and Cleveland Council be an 'improving Council' when it has gone from four to two stars?" asks Liberal Democrat Councillor Glyn Nightingale, former Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources.

"The Liberal Democrat-led Coalition in 2007 achieved a Four-Star Excellent rating from Government inspectors. Now the Labour Rulling Group has relegated the Council down to Two Stars. It's only adequate - that's one step away from inadequate.

"What a difference 22 months of Labour rule makes. Labour is quite good at talking, but fails to do what needs doing. People want a cleaner, tidier borough where they are safe from crime and anti-social behaviour. Like all previous Labour administrations it's is now presiding over local job losses and a situation where families are cutting back on spending.

"Labour's use of resources is in a mess. It has produced the riskiest possible budget where it relies on luck to save £2.2m on staff vacancies, puts more money into its "back office" bureaucracy and takes £8 million out of front line services. Just one example illustrates this - Labour is taking £1m away from urgently-needed school building repairs in Nunthorpe and Guisborough.

"Labour is cutting back on "clean and green" improvements, closing care houses for the elderly and putting off employing more wardens."

Lib Dem Group Leader Councillor Chris Abbott said: "How can they trust a ruling group that goes back on its promises and can't even get the basic needs of people right?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Whilst you argue that a Labour Controlled Council have now dragged the Council from 4* to 2*. , here are some points to consider:
Were the Council only really a 3* star council who got 4* and 2* due to variability of the successive audit Commission Officers views?

Councillors make decisions, not run and provide services, that's what the Council Employees do.
Potentially, they could cut budgets or fail to act on recommendations by Officers. Or refuse to allow staff who resign to be replaced But how many of the decisions made by Labour Cllrs can actually be attributed directly to the drop in performance?

Council Officers also make decisions through powers of delegation. Have they made any really bad decisions that have caused the drop in performance?

One must also ask searching questions about the role of the Corporate Performance group here. How closely were they actually monitoring the Councils performance?
Did the Corporate Performance manager know the Council performance was falling?

If not why not?
If so, what did he/she do about it?.
If they did alert other officers and Councillors about the deterioration, what follow up action took place?

The answers to these questions will go a long way to explaining R&C's deterioration.