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Saturday, 6 June 2015

Labour Council Isn't Protecting Southampton

Here's my letter published in the Daily Echo today, following the shameful revelation that the Labour Council is paying a fortune to consultants after 3 years of cutting jobs and services:

Reading your front page piece yesterday, I hope you can see at least some of the reasons why I did not want the role of Cabinet Member for Transformation at Southampton City Council.

The Labour-controlled Council is facing huge cuts to Government funding, and as I said in my recent In My View piece, in 3 years it hasn't innovated or provided strategic direction to protect the vulnerable and services. Instead it always blames the Government.

Why is the Council paying out a small fortune to consultants when it is proposing "being realistic" about cutting jobs, and at the same time pays huge salaries to the Chief Executive and senior officers?

Where are the ideas and innovation from them, or from Cabinet members, in order to protect the vulnerable and services?

Or is it really the case as Cllr Hammond said:

"we don’t have the experience of large-scale challenges like this"

Then why are the Cabinet members, officers and the Leader in place, if they don't have the experience? It's their job to innovate - wasn't the Labour Council elected to do this?

The Southampton people deserve better.

Councillor Andrew Pope
Independent Councillor for Redbridge

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