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Author Topic: David Cameron row with Conservative leader of local council  (Read 5090 times)
Chris from Nailsea
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« on: November 11, 2015, 11:22:01 pm »

I'm posting this here in 'the wider picture', only because the issue doesn't just affect public transport (although that is mentioned).

From the BBC:

Quote
David Cameron row with Conservative leader of local council

David Cameron is involved in a row with the Conservative leader of his local county council over cuts to services.

The PM has written to Oxfordshire council leader Ian Hudspeth saying he is "disappointed" at proposed "cuts to frontline services, from elderly day centres, to libraries, to museums". The council should "move cautiously in setting out its budget plans", he says.

In response Mr Hudspeth reminds Mr Cameron he "worked hard to assist you in achieving a Conservative majority."

Mr Cameron is the MP for Witney in Oxfordshire, an area covered by Oxfordshire County Council.

The prime minister attempts to reassure his local colleague, pointing out that the money councils get from central government will not be confirmed until after the Spending Review later this month.

In his lengthy letter of response, Mr Hudspeth disagrees with a series of claims made in the prime minister's letter - including a suggestion that Oxfordshire County Council was failing to make back office savings and had actually seen an increase in its budget. The county council leader points out that the authority employs almost 3,000 fewer people than it did in 2010.

He adds that the council's grants from government have fallen from ^194m a year in 2009/10 to ^122m this year. "I cannot accept your description of a drop in funding of ^72m... as a 'slight fall'" he writes.

Mr Hudspeth points out that in addition to the spending cuts the council has had to deal with, the demands upon it have been growing, given the "heightened awareness and concern around vulnerable children" since the Baby P case in Haringey in north London, and "the growth in the elderly population - who generate the largest demand for expensive social care placements and support".

Last night, Oxfordshire County Council's cabinet agreed to cut ^3.7m in subsidies to bus companies in the county. The subsidies currently help ensure "low use routes" remain viable. Such routes are often in rural areas - such as the prime minister's Witney constituency.

A spokeswoman for the prime minister said: "There is still significant scope for sensible savings across local government to be made by back office consolidation, disposing of surplus property and joining up our local public services; we will be discussing with Oxfordshire how this can be taken forward to help protect frontline services."

For Labour, shadow chancellor John McDonnell told the BBC: "I'm backing David Cameron on this one, he is absolutely right that his chancellor's cuts to local government are seriously damaging our communities and have to be opposed. I welcome the prime minister as another Tory MP joining our campaign against George Osborne's cuts."


(My highlighting. CfN.)
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
bignosemac
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2015, 11:40:25 pm »

So, from his own party and covering his own constituency and yet Dave continues to be in denial about how the 'austerity' cuts are affecting the neediest in society. Oxfordshire is a relatively well off county. The swinging cuts being made by this completely out of touch government are even more keenly felt in less affluant areas.

David Cameron just hasn't got a clue. Particularly when you see him suggesting a council disposes of property to fund frontline services. Something by law they are not permitted to do. To say nothing of the fact that property sales are a one off income.

Idiot.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2015, 12:22:55 am »

Well, I posted here to encourage a debate on the issue.  Wink

Actually, I thought John McDonnell's quote was priceless!  Grin
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
PhilWakely
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2015, 09:01:55 am »

David Cameron just hasn't got a clue. Particularly when you see him suggesting a council disposes of property to fund frontline services. Something by law they are not permitted to do. To say nothing of the fact that property sales are a one off income.
I think he knows all too well - this is just a standard response from his PPS as a result a many letters from constituents, but still extremely naive to say the least
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bignosemac
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2015, 09:14:43 am »

If you personally sign a letter written in the first person you are responsible for its contents. Being written by somebody else does not absolve the person who signed it from the falsehoods within.

Not that I think in this case anyone but David Cameron wrote it. It's usually made clear when letters are written on behalf of an MP. And David Cameron isn't denying he wrote this one. Besides which I doubt a PPS would, or even should, be involved in a constituency matter.

http://www.scribd.com/mobile/doc/289244432/Cameron-s-Letter

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ellendune
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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2015, 10:01:22 pm »

I think he knows all too well - this is just a standard response from his PPS as a result a many letters from constituents, but still extremely naive to say the least
It might have been written by a constituency secretary, but not a PPS.  I am not sure you can always tell when a letter ahs been drafted by another, but I doubt that a letter to a person in that position would have been written by anyone else, though they might have been tasked to research some of the information. 
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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2015, 10:20:18 pm »

If DC thinks Oxfordshire are being profligate I'd hate to see what his idea of miserly is.

Oxfordshire have already outsourced a lot of their back-office functions, just as DC is encouraging them to do. The functions have been outsourced, in fact, to an operation set up by Hampshire County Council. The result (I am not making this up) is that public services previously run by Oxfordshire County Council have been regularly threatened with having their water cut off and their phone disconnected because Hampshire hasn't paid the bills. When they try and get through to Hampshire to ask what's going on, no-one answers the phone there.

So many OCC offices have been closed that, if you want to have a meeting, you have to schlep out to Unipart House (rented offices in Cowley). Most recently, an event for parish and town councils across Oxfordshire - encouraging us to provide the services that OCC can no longer afford to provide - was held in the Kassam Stadium because OCC no longer has a room big enough. Right, remind me of the most convenient railway station for the Kassam.

I am by no means the greatest fan of OCC, but they are being very unfairly traduced here.
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2015, 06:03:44 pm »

It appears that he also communicated with the local constabulary as well......

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34815792
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Tim
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2015, 05:17:19 pm »

So, from his own party and covering his own constituency and yet Dave continues to be in denial about how the 'austerity' cuts are affecting the neediest in society. Oxfordshire is a relatively well off county. The swinging cuts being made by this completely out of touch government are even more keenly felt in less affluant areas.

David Cameron just hasn't got a clue. Particularly when you see him suggesting a council disposes of property to fund frontline services. Something by law they are not permitted to do. To say nothing of the fact that property sales are a one off income.

Idiot.

+1.

Not just an idiot but a hypocrite too.

We can argue as to how far or not the cuts are necessary, but the idea that you can make large cuts without impacting services is simply downright dishonest.

The Government has peddled this narrative that public spending is being squandered on workshy scroungers and certainly not "people like us" in order to soften up the country to cuts. 

Of course the reality is that these "workshy scroungers" are fairly rare and not where most public spending goes.

The cuts will be to core services that even affluent people in Oxfordshire use.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2015, 07:29:28 pm »

Indeed, everyone, rich or poor, has a bin/recycling that needs collecting. Roads and pavements that need maintaining. Parks and recreation facilities to be kept clean and welcoming. Streets that need lighting. Drains and culverts that need to be kept clear. Municipal cemetries/crematoria (rich or poor, we all die) to serve the community.

All these and many more sercives provided by local authorities are facing unprecedented cuts to their budgets. Not through council profligacy or mismanagement but as a direct result of these swingeing, short sighted, poorly considered cuts in central government funding to local authorities.

Something is seriously wrong when true blue councils are openly criticising the Tory government.
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Rhydgaled
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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2015, 08:29:15 pm »

Idiot.
Not just an idiot but a hypocrite too.
Could he be outragously misinformed rather than an idiot? Either way, it is rather concerning.

Indeed, everyone, rich or poor, has a bin/recycling that needs collecting. Roads and pavements that need maintaining. Parks and recreation facilities to be kept clean and welcoming. Streets that need lighting. Drains and culverts that need to be kept clear. Municipal cemetries/crematoria (rich or poor, we all die) to serve the community.
And public toilets that need to be kept serviceable (rich or poor, we all excrete). I know many of the public toilets in Cardigan have had to be closed due to the cuts. Council-subsidised bus are also being removed, you could argue buses only benifit a subset of the population (unlike toilets) but I've heard council bus subsidies described as being for 'socially necessary'. If something is necessary and you remove it...
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