Monday, October 04, 2010

New Strategic Direction: four reasons why the Suffolk Conservatives are unlikely to find their arse with both hands...

No business case exists to justify the claims that they can make 30% savings and it is feared that it could cost more to run services.

Courtesy of the East Anglian Daily Times, Colin Noble, the portfolio holder for adult and community services, admitted the new direction was a “concept” and that the council was stepping into the unknown. “I do not think that any of us know precisely what is going to happen in the future,” he said. “But we are confident that we are prepared and whatever the government announce with the spending review then we have thought of the implications and are prepared.”

Best of all, the Conservatives have presumed that they need to save 30%, ahead of the eagerly anticipated Comprehensive Spending Review.

The council is already overspending on existing contracts, including in Adult Care, Children’s Services and its contract with Customer Service Direct (CSD)

The council’s joint venture company with BT has seen significant increases in contract costs, well above the rate of inflation. There are also projected overspends this year in Adult Care and Children and Young People. The Guardian warns that outsourcing could well lead to increased costs.

In spite of various initiatives the council is actually employing MORE staff this year than last.

Indeed, Suffolk Conservatives needed to be told that this was the case - they hadn't actually noticed... which makes it unlikely that they would have any chance of supervising such a range of contracts.

No redundancy costs have been factored in: it is estimated that making 4,000 staff redundant could cost more than £110 million.

And no private, voluntary or community-based organisation is going to take that cost on, are they? The predicted savings to the council are £330 million, although if the costs of services not included in contracts is passed on to consumers, that benefit isn't going to reach the most vulnerable. And if they can't pay for it, are the rest of us going to? Or are we, as a 'big society', going to start by jettisoning anyone thought to be burdensome?

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