For the past four years when the Conservatives controlled Nottinghamshire County Council and had to make £180 million of budget savings, Labour councillors including Alan Rhodes claimed we were going “too far, too fast”.
Bizarrely, they now say that the Conservatives left a “£154 million black hole” in the budget, which would mean we went not far enough, too slowly. By their logic, we were wrong to save as much as £180 million… but should still have saved £154 million more!
Nottinghamshire taxpayers should be concerned that their money is now in the hands of Labour Councillors who issue such misleading and contradictory sound bytes. Their latest sound byte, supporting the council’s budget consultation, is that Nottinghamshire residents must “think the unthinkable”. It is Labour’s slippery way of admitting that they must make the same type of difficult decisions they dismissed as unnecessary when the Conservatives were in power. It also means a council tax rise is virtually certain.
Ironically, Labour’s Finance Committee Chairman, Cllr David Kirkham has unwittingly confirmed that the Conservatives ran the council well. He recently presented the Statement of Accounts for 2012/13 under the previous Conservative administration which ‘shows the results of the stewardship and accountability of elected members and management for the resources entrusted to them, which is of paramount importance in the use of public funds’. It confirms: ‘The auditor will issue an unqualified value for money conclusion stating that the council had proper arrangements to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources.’
So, perhaps Labour should stop relying on untrue and nonsensical sound bytes and start shouldering the responsibility that they were desperate to regain. Unlike them, Conservatives in opposition will present an alternative budget which will honour our pledge to continue freezing council tax.
Councillor Reg Adair
for Ruddington Division