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600 Council Jobs Could Go In £59m Budget Cuts

Families, children, the elderly, the disadvantaged, arts, culture and free swimmers all targeted in major council spending cuts.

Published on November 12th 2014.


600 Council Jobs Could Go In £59m Budget Cuts
 

MANCHESTER City Council have today announced that up to 600 staff could be axed as they face-up to another round of budget cuts.

“This is a much longer budget-setting process than usual and we want to be open and transparent about the extremely tough position we are in and some of the stark choices we face."

Following £250m of cuts between 2011 and 2015, the City council are now facing another £59m of cuts in 2015/16, potentially rising to £91m in 2016/17 following deep reductions in central government funding.

In the last financial settlement, Manchester was dealt the largest percentage cut in government funding of any of England's core cities outside of London, these include: Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.

Between 2010/11 and 2015/16, Manchester has experienced the eighth biggest spending cut per resident of all councils in England - a reduction of £311.94 per head. This is despite Manchester having the fourth highest level of deprivation in the country.

Manchester Town HallManchester Town Hall

In order to make savings, the City council estimates that up to 600 further full-time jobs may be lost, on top of nearly 3,000 postions already axed in the last four years.

However, the council say they are aiming to avoid compulsory redundancies through a programme of voluntary severance and voluntary early retirement.

Options on how to cut spending will be going before council scrutiny committees from Monday 17 November, the reports will then be considered by the council executive on Wednesday 26 November before public consultation.

Following all considerations, a draft budget will be produced in January 2015 with final decisions on budget made in March 2015.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “This is a much longer budget-setting process than usual and we want to be open and transparent about the extremely tough position we are in and some of the stark choices we face.

“Let us be clear. What we are announcing today are options, not proposals. We will listen carefully to people’s views in the months ahead. If they have viable alternative options for cuts we will give them serious consideration because, frankly, we don’t much like the options we have.

“We have to set a balanced budget and the severity of the cuts to our central government funding on top of previous cuts make that deeply challenging, and not something that can be achieved painlessly.”

Below are the council's list of proposed cuts in their words:

The Children’s and Families directorate accounts for the largest part (54 per cent) of the current Council budget. As a result, it accounts for the largest proportion of the suggested savings, some £54.153m.

But the Council is committed to ensuring that the most vulnerable people are protected and that children’s safeguarding services are improved.

In the longer term the Council aims to reduce the number of children who need to be taken into care or made subject to child protection plans, which is higher than comparable cities. We recognise that in most cases staying with their families is the best option for children but that some families need our help to achieve this. By making a one-off investment now in services which help to achieve this, as well as improving adoption and fostering rates, we expect to see a reduction in spending of £8m a year by 2018/19.

It is proposed to work with partner agencies including Jobcentre Plus, health and mental health providers to extend the approach the Council has used in its successful work with troubled families – with a lead worker co-ordinating different agency services to address the needs of families and help them into work.

A new Early Years model, including intensive parenting support for identified families, which has been piloted in three wards will also now be extended across the city. This will, however, now be concentrated on the families where it will make the biggest difference, saving between £500,000 and £1.12m on what had originally been budgeted.

Manchester Town HallManchester Town Hall

At the heart of these and other potential changes is the principle of public service reform. This involves investing up front in the intensive help and support which will enable people with complex needs to become more independent (for instance moving into employment, or staying out of hospital). It also reduces the amount of public spending in the longer term by preventing problems before they become more expensive to fix.

One major element of this is the ambitious Living Longer, Living Better programme to provide care and support to people closer to their homes and prevent costly and unnecessary admissions to hospitals or residential care. This would be expected to save £8.328m in 15/16 and a further £2.358m in 16/17.

A mooted change in the Council’s priorities for commissioning services from the community and voluntary sector – with a shift of focus to early intervention and prevention and supporting ‘care closer to home’ – would result in cuts of £3.399m in 15/16 and £1.342m in 16/17.

Efficiencies in learning disability services could deliver savings of £3.2m in 2015/16 and £2.104m in 2016/17.

Spending on mental health services could be reduced, with a focus on early intervention and supporting people into work.

The range of services to tackle homelessness will be streamlined and specialist support to refugees and asylum seekers replaced with a more general service. These options would save £553,000 in 2015-16.

Extensive options have also been identified in the Education and Skills area, amounting to more than £5m of savings in 2015/16.

These include ending discretionary school uniform grants and reducing provision of free school travel to the minimum required by law. Under the latter option pupils whose parents have chosen for them to attend a faith or single sex school rather than their nearest school, or another within walking distance, would no longer be eligible for free travel.

Reductions in short breaks for parents and carers of children with disabilities are also an option.

Another option is to reduce the number of school crossing patrols from the current 95, removing the 40 assessed as having the lowest need. The increased introduction of 20mph zones is expected to have a positive safety impact and schools will still be able, individually or collectively, to fund a school crossing patrol in their area if they so wished.

Grand Hall, Town HallGrand Hall, Town Hall


The Council may end its funding to Manchester Adult Education Service, leaving the external Skills Funding Agency grant funding which makes up the majority of the service’s budget.

In addition, it is anticipated that administrative efficiencies would amount to £1.75m of savings in 2015/16.

Funding for youth services could be reduced and become targeted to the young people and neighbourhoods who need them the most. The Council would also explore the possibility of setting up a youth trust with appropriate partners, to attract further external funding.

For Growth and Neighbourhoods saving options of £11.87m have been identified. Options include:

Savings of between £1.476m and £2.952m through the merger of regeneration, neighbourhood delivery and community and cultural services teams which provide a wide range of local services  – although the higher figure would involve significant reductions in services.

Procuring a new joint service for waste collection and street cleaning is expected to save £1.6m a year. Further savings of £2.4m a year are targeted from 2016/17 through reductions in waste levy payments if intensive work to increase the amount of waste recycled generated proves successful.

Ending CASH grants for community projects in individual Council wards (saving £960,000 a year) or introducing a redesigned scheme more closely aligned to priorities such as cleaner neighbourhoods or increasing skills and employment (saving £320,000 a year.)

Saving £450,000 between 2015-2017 by reducing the running costs, and number, of buildings in which council staff are based.

Reducing staffing in galleries, saving £272,000 a year.

Cutting funding to cultural organisations by £220,000 a year over the next two years.

Reductions of £100,000 or £200,000 a year in funding for books, digital and other materials in the city’s libraries.

Generating £200,000 more a year through increased planning applications as the city’s economic recovery continues and more development occurs.

Ending free swimming for over-60s and under-16s would save a further £70,000 a year if adopted.

The Corporate Core, which includes departments such as finance and legal, corporate property and communications, accounts for £14.282m of identified savings. These include:

Increasing income generation for council services including Manchester Markets, pest control, bereavements services and the registrars service totalling £1.729m.

Changes to support services such as financial management, human resources and communications to other departments, saving between £2.4m and £3.76m – although it is recognised that the higher cut could seriously impact on the Council’s ability to deliver its priorities.

Increasing use of online services and reducing print and mail cost to save £445,000 a year.

Members of the public who wish to comment on or ask about the options can do so on the council’s webpage at www.manchester.gov.uk/budget where they can also find out further information. Formal public consultation on options will begin on Wednesday 26 November.

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93 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousNovember 12th 2014.

£3.5 million spent on an unwanted glass ‘none building’ on Library Walk? £800 per new street bin? The council do get giddy with our money don’t they? Will the decision makers behind Library Walk lose their jobs too?

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Kevin PeelNovember 12th 2014.

Whilst city centre councillors opposed the building of the glass link on Library Walk, this is slightly misleading - this money was from the capital pot so couldn't be used to stop any of the cuts even if the thing hadn't been built.

Not that David!November 12th 2014.

That's capital budget though

AnonymousNovember 12th 2014.

You didn't answer the question though, Kevin.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

How much has the council paid so far in legal costs to defend the construction on Library Walk?

Not that David!November 12th 2014.

Before Kevin Peel gets on here playing the victim and pointing the finger at the current government. Ed Balls has already said that these cuts will stick in the event of a Labour win in 2015. The coalition fiscal policy will not change. Just like Blair/Brown in 1997. The council is a hugely wasteful organisation. Years of over inflated salaries and gold plated public service pensions have led to this. Couple that the processes they use and schemes they prioritise and it only goes to exasperate the situation. With no effective opposition it's the council tax public that suffer.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Kevin PeelNovember 12th 2014.

See my response to the words you've put into my mouth below.

AnonymousNovember 12th 2014.

I've some knowledge of the council's employment culture and think that big savings could be made in managerial and administrative staffing. It's amazing that free swimming for children and OAPs is in the firing line when it'll only save £70,000, an amount that could easily be saved, and more, by cutting two bureaucratic pseudo-jobs in the town hall. The council should remember it exists to provide services to the public, not to provide amenable employment to the middle classes.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Poster BoyNovember 12th 2014.

+1

AnonymousNovember 12th 2014.

They were quite happy to pay Reeds temping agency more money rather than employ staff for less.

SketchNovember 12th 2014.

Did you miss the headline? 600 jobs possibly to go.

AnonymousNovember 12th 2014.

If Manchester City Council wish to make cuts, then savings can be made by disposing of their "Christmas Spokesman" and letting the actual elected representative for the City Centre speak on City Centre issues...

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Not that David!November 12th 2014.

+1

Kevin PeelNovember 12th 2014.

The 'City Centre Spokesperson' does not receive an allowance and elected representatives for the city centre speak loudly and often on city centre issues!

rinkydinkNovember 13th 2014.

Why is he the spokesperson? He wasn't elected for this "role"?

JoanNovember 13th 2014.

The elected councillors choose, from among their number, individual councillors to hold certain roles, with key responsibilities attached. Eg we choose the Executive Member for Culture and Leisure and the Chair of Economy Scrutiny Committee. Manchester City Centre benefits from having a councillor focusing on items of strategic importance for the city centre and its wide range of stakeholders. Kev, Beth and I focus on residents' interests within the wider scheme of things.

SquirrelitoNovember 12th 2014.

Greater Manchester has 10 of every council department. Start merging them.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Kevin PeelNovember 12th 2014.

This is definitely being looked at. It already happens in a small number of areas but I think it needs to happen much more and is likely now we have a clear devolution settlement and more will than ever for the 10 to work together.

Trish KarneyNovember 12th 2014.

There's top brass at MCC who are on more than the Prime Minister, while the lady who cleans their offices is on the minimum wage. A big round of applause for our egalitarian Labour council. MCC are obscenely wasteful, paying ridiculous amounts of money on "Twitter Czars" and translation services into every language going, as well as the bewildering strata of management.

13 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 12th 2014.

Not to mention all the perks they give to the £90k per year "Assistant Chief Executives" of which there are untold numbers.

GimboidNovember 13th 2014.

There has never been a Twitter Czar, or anyone who's job was solely to use Twitter, at MCC. Do you ever get your facts right, Trish, or do you just like spouting off with whatever comes into your head?

Trish KarneyNovember 13th 2014.

There was a position for a Twitter Tsar advertised by MCC in 2010. And don't be such a douchebag.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

No there wasn't.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

"The new media communications manager will be paid £38,000 to provide ‘web presence’ on the social networking websites and online interaction with the public."

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

You've proven my point. There is or never was anyone employed as a 'twitter tzar' - whatever one of those is.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

But there was a media communications manager...

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

Yes, and?

AnonymousNovember 14th 2014.

Total waste of £38,000

AnonymousNovember 14th 2014.

Why is it?

AnonymousNovember 14th 2014.

The money spent on a Media communications manager should be used for more important jobs, like school crossing people. If MCC want to tweet or change their status on Facebook, I'm sure they can do it themselves without a manager. How many more of these none jobs are they wasting our money on?

AnonymousNovember 14th 2014.

What an idiotic response. Have you taken the time to find out what the responsibilities of this job actually are or are you just sounding off from a position of ignorance? I'm sure it involves a bit more than tweeting and updating Facebook.

AnonymousNovember 15th 2014.

Obviously you haven't taken the trouble to find out the responsibilities of this job and are talking from a position of ignorance. And once you have to resort to playground name calling you have lost the argument. Come back when you have something sensible to say that doesn't involve the name calling. But correspondence with you is at an end.

AnonymousNovember 12th 2014.

I had the misfortunate to work as a temp at Manchester Council a few years ago. They will be inundated by permanent staff who will be desperate for the enhanced voluntary redundancy packages as it will be like a mini lottery win for those just a few years away from redundancy. I have never worked anywhere with such a level of management incompetence; people promoted simply on the basis of time-served rather than ability and temps employed on ridiculously high contracts just so they could say they were working on reduced numbers. They could save so much more money by applying a bit more more common sense.

Kevin PeelNovember 12th 2014.

Seeing as someone is already speaking for me I'd better chip in! There is no blame game here - it would only be a game if the answer wasn't obvious. The government is making cruel and unnecessary cuts to Manchester that go far beyond our fair share - which would net us an additional £55m a year. Ed Balls has said spending overall will be the same in the first two years under a Labour government but will be distributed more fairly, so we can hope (and lobby) to get some of that back.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
rinkydinkNovember 12th 2014.

Ed Balls is a joke and is part of the reason Labour stand no chance at the next election. Does anybody take him seriously?

AnonymousNovember 12th 2014.

Cut out the purple prose Mr Peel. We are in this state because of avaricious bankers and an incompetent Labour government who think money grows on magi co money trees somewhere. Ed Balls thinks that more of the same medicine that got us in this mess will get us out. More borrowing and spending. This is stupid. No government or council should ever spend more money than is coming in. No government of any colour wants to make 'cruel and unnecessary cuts'. These cuts have had to be made to put the public finances back on an even keel. Sadly, they are very necessary. Manchester council will have to find ways of making money go further. And it has not helped when the council has spent £3.5 million on a totally unnecessary entrance to the library. Kevin can repeat 'capital pot/budget' as much as he likes. Squandering money on a project like that when they knew that they were going to have to make cuts was just plain stupid.

AnonymousNovember 12th 2014.

Cut out the purple prose Mr Peel. We are in this state because of avaricious bankers and an incompetent Labour government who think money grows on magi co money trees somewhere. Ed Balls thinks that more of the same medicine that got us in this mess will get us out. More borrowing and spending. This is stupid. No government or council should ever spend more money than is coming in. No government of any colour wants to make 'cruel and unnecessary cuts'. These cuts have had to be made to put the public finances back on an even keel. Sadly, they are very necessary. Manchester council will have to find ways of making money go further. And it has not helped when the council has spent £3.5 million on a totally unnecessary entrance to the library. Kevin can repeat 'capital pot/budget' as much as he likes. Squandering money on a project like that when they knew that they were going to have to make cuts was just plain stupid.

AnonymousNovember 12th 2014.

As a labour politician you are woefully disingenuous Kevin. You should be asking questions as to why there are so many highly paid managers who don't take cuts to their salaries along with cuts to their budgets. You should be asking why they retain their jobs when "restructuring" their departments to load more work onto staff who then receive pay cuts. You should be asking questions as to why senior managers receive car allowances and parking permits and then use corporate taxi accounts which is in direct contravention of HR policy. You should be asking why MCC is employing consultants at £500-£1500 a day to do jobs that are graded at £130 a day or less. Unfortunately it seems that too many of you Labour councillors at MCC are more concerned with the next sound-byte than actually tackling the problems in your own backyard.

Kevin PeelNovember 12th 2014.

Anyway, what I was actually going to say is that I really would encourage residents to engage in this process, which is longer and more transparent than it has ever been. None of us want to make virtually any of these cuts, but make them we will have to. Councillors, community groups and individuals will have different ideas about how some of the money can be saved and by working together perhaps we can save some things - like youth funding, support for the homeless and big cuts to neighbourhood services. Scrutiny meetings are now streamed live so I'd urge people to tune in this week and to take part in the consultation which will start later this month. We'll be actively encouraging city centre residents to do so and probably organising a public meeting. If you're on our e-mail list stay tuned.

7 Responses: Reply To This...
WGNovember 12th 2014.

I have some sympathy that Manchester City Council has been disproportionately targeted. However my sympathy does not extend to many of the appalling decisions made in recent history. As for the likes of Peel it seems undemocratic to have all and any campaigning going through him. I am very unhappy that there are not less political but more residential forum's and the move towards NQ Forum to be covered by Labour is not inclusive. I wish an Independent or decent opposition would go against Peel in six months as there are city centre residents and campaigners who do not want to work with specifically him, the spin or the clamour for credit for others work. To care about this area do you have to subscribe to the asinine newsletter and pledge your 'allegiance'?

Kevin PeelNovember 12th 2014.

Trying to stick to my policy of not responding to anonymous rubbish, but Labour councillors don't 'run' any residents' forums in the city centre. There are many groups and organisations we support and help to develop with hundreds of residents involved. We don't have a problem working with anyone who wants to improve our neighbourhood. It's a shame anonymous posters don't feel the same but if you think you could do a better job then feel free to stand for election next May. We live in a democracy after all!

JoanNovember 12th 2014.

Agreed. The residents' forums are independent. Castlefield Forum is a case in point. Cllr Pat Karney helped in the early days, but then residents elected a committee and it runs itself. Councillors attend, but cannot be members.

David SmithNovember 13th 2014.

The Castlefield Forum is completely independent. Not sure about the NQ forum. I know for a fact that Kevin has used the NQ forum email circulation list to distribute Labour party literature. When recipients asked to be removed for that circulation list Kevins response was 'no-one else has complained'. A few years ago Kevin did the same with the Castlefield forum. I notice that the emails I receive from them now have the distribution list is hidden.Oh and Kevin, we don't live in a democracy as well you know. 100% control with 40% of the vote is not a democracy. You could put a monkey in a waistcoat with a Labour rossette and it'd still get in. Low engagement and lack of alternative means Labour have a stranglehold on this council.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

Agree. Labour is not Labour anymore. As for Peel only cares for himself, promoting himself and his career. What you say is so true David Smith "as well you know. 100% control with 40% of the vote is not a democracy. You could put a monkey in a waistcoat with a Labour rossette and it'd still get in". It did.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

The calamity that is Ed Miliband will ensure national losses 2015 and a Conservative second term. We'll be prime for conservative revenge yet again. Ironic how Manchester Labour were fawning over Osborne last week. Personally can't see too many ideological differences with our elitist, hierarchical, wasteful, disengaged Council

rinkydinkNovember 13th 2014.

Labour in government is the same as Labour at local level. All of the things you just said multiplied by a million

WayneNovember 12th 2014.

So this corrupt labour power mad council are screwing more people over..spending on that dump that is Piccadilly gardens wasting money on a library no one visits where at night it's a muggers paradise because there's no lighting! And wasting cash on "Christmas lights" that are beyond farcical ..who's running this council oh yes Richard Lees the convicted criminal (you can't make it up)..you get what you deserve mancunians and no doubt you will vote them in again and again and the city remains a crime ridden filthy dump with a corrupt and apathetic council ...how much do the councillors get paid I wonder ..all hidden like the dodgy "ethical" co-op both manchester institutions both rotten to the core ..watch this space.

16 Responses: Reply To This...
rinkydinkNovember 12th 2014.

The Christmas lights. What on earth is going on there?! Shit on stilts

AnonymousNovember 12th 2014.

someone with an axe to grind!?

JoanNovember 12th 2014.

Wayne asks. "how much do the councillors get paid I wonder". The answer's here: www.manchester.gov.uk/…/members_allowances_and_expenses…. Not hidden at all.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

A better question would be what are the councils employees paid from top to bottom with job titles and descriptions and structure charts. The public might then be able to spot some waste.

feastofsnakesNovember 13th 2014.

Wayne. 600,000 visitors to the library since it reopened. Ignorant fool. Try making at least one accurate factual statement rather than screaming a torrent of hysterical nonsense.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

Joan, is it possible to see the salaries that Manchester City Council workers get? How much you spend on buying people in? The whole lot, all the little benefits they get, transparent with nothing hidden? I'm sure we could find plenty of cuts there.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

Care to publish your salary anon including all the benefits and perks you get and say exactly what you do? I'm sure we can identify whether your job is a waste or could be done more efficiently? Thanks in advance.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

Modest salary and no perks at all...I earn every penny and am not expecting the citizens of Manchester to go with out so I can have it. And, yes, if I was in a position where I was accountable to the city I would be happy to publish it.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

Of course you would say that. But the only way we know that if you publish all the details so we can decide for ourselves. Whether public or private you are accountable to the public one way or the other by your reasoning. So come on. Spill the beans. I'm sure we can identify ways of doing your role more efficiently, or perhaps, do away with it altogether.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

chalk face education.....shade under £30,000

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

What about you?

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

That's some way above the national average salary. Think of all the extra classroom assistants or all the extra kids who would benefit from smaller class sizes or better facilities if all teachers on your grade took a cut? Do you see where I'm going with this?

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

As I said I earn every penny...think how ignorant your kids would be with unqualified teaching assistants in front of them, even in smaller classes. You get what you pay for. See where I'm going with this? What do you do to make the world a better place? Let's discuss your salary. Or is it just given you for doing nothing?

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

It's non of your business, anonymous internet person. But since you ask I work in the financial sector and earn a shade over £14k. The fact that you consider that you "earn every penny" is neither here nor there. I bet there are plenty of people out there who would consider you grossly overpaid and indulged, what with all your holidays and so on. Most people would say that if your school budget had been slashed by 40% in just a few years and you were struggling to provide the same service that you absolutely should take a pay cut. But then whose opinion as to the value of your labour really matters? The point is, no ones opinion matter. Public sector workers like private sector workers, like council workers, like bank workers all compete in the same labour market for the same pool of jobs.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

Well you wanted to know what I did so it's only right you should reciprocate. My finances are really none of your business of course, or anyone else's. But if people in the Town Hall are expecting ordinary people to take cuts it's perfectly acceptable to be interested in their salaries to make sure the cuts are equal. School budgets have t been cut at all. Like health it has been ring fenced. And rightly so as education and health are vital to the well being of the nation. Im finished with this thread now. Everything that can be said, has been said.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

Arrogant nonsense anon. Most services councils provide are integral to delivering healthy outcomes for individuals and communities which in turn impacts on educational outcomes. It seems you value your own profession but no one else's.

ReginaldNovember 12th 2014.

Whenever I hear the words 'consultation' and 'transparent' uttered from the mouths of the great and good at Manchester City Council I shrink. An engagement strategy used by the city's PR machine to manage out any problematic opposition to their decision making process.

DarrenNovember 12th 2014.

I'm sure I read that the we have a large amount of money saved up but won't spend it. Is it true the local leaders are sacking people and cutting services while sitting on large amount of cash?

1 Response: Reply To This...
JoanNovember 12th 2014.

No, it isn't true. There's a small amount of genuine 'reserves'. The rest is earmarked.

AnonymousNovember 12th 2014.

What is very interesting is that over the last 4 years of cuts; most senior managers in the 50k and 100k plus bracket have either retained or increased their salaries. Cut out the whole communications team which costs millions to put glossy video clips out (like the one above). Cut the multipl layers of senior management in IT, HR, PPRI and other faceless back office functions that spend their whole day in meetings whilst the people at the coal face are being downgraded and give 4 x people's work. Cut out all the "Assistant Directors" that they keep funding for the Social Care services. Stop running the glitzy "Awards for Excellence" internal awards each year which is an expensive back slapping exercise. Stop letting senior managers buy brand new iphones at £600 when the corporate standard is a blackberry at £140. Remove the 300+ NCP £2.5k p/a parking passes and £750 p/a "essential car user allowance" that are given to senior grade managers as a perk yet denied to those who actually need their car to do their jobs. The same people getting the perk then use taxis on corporate account to go to meetings. Incidentally, there are no social workers based in the city centre; so that little lie that MCC used last time doesn't work. Stop MCC buying in the £500-1,500 PER DAY consultants in to do the work that Council staff can do. Even the unions are fighting the unnecessary explosion of consultants in IT, HR and other places. Cut the pay of the entire senior management (anyone above 60k) by 20% - that'd save over a million a year. Manchester Council whinges; but for those of us that have suffered downgrades and pay cuts; we watch those above us being paid ever more to do even less.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

Blatantly unfair cuts being handed down from central government. Not only has local government borne the brunt of this governments austerity measures but they have been meted out in the most unfair manner imaginable with the highest cuts falling on the areas with the greatest needs - this confirmed by their own figures! Some of the wealthiest parts of the country meanwhile have actually seen spending increase. You literally couldn't make it up. This government appear not to have carried out any kind of impact assessment whatsoever and seem to regard any kind of public service as a waste; a more appalling, contemptuous and moronic attitude towards ordinary people you would struggle to imagine.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Mark FullerNovember 13th 2014.

Actually it's very easy to recall the appalling attitude of Rotherham Labour council {and their collaborators in the South Yorkshire Police force and Social Services}, as an example of contempt towards towards ordinary{young} people. Despite the tone of this article , and the comments from Labour councilors,the delusional left do not have a monopoly of compassion. For years they have tried to manipulate us into feeling that if we don't support them, or at least refrain from voting for anyone else, we are somehow deficient, cruel, lacking in empathy and compassion, like some sociopath.. But when you look at the record of Socialism, both here and abroad, you see a sociopathic pathology writ large. Virtually everything that Labour touch, is grim, tacky, depressing and mediocre. Fortunately, the British public, as evidenced by most of the posts here, remain sceptical of Labours' claims, so their malign influence is tempered. By the way, I think that the Conservatives are only marginally better than Labour, but to pretend that they somehow have it in for Manchester is absurd.

David SmithNovember 13th 2014.

Mark Fuller +1 here

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

If you look at how the cuts to local authority budgets have been apportioned - disproportionately targeting areas of greatest deprivation, how can you draw any other conclusion? Some of the most affluent areas have actually seen their budgets increase. How is that remotely fair or rational? It's a truly shocking way to run the country.

DavidNovember 13th 2014.

Manchester created thousands of non jobs that had nothing to do with the core roles of local. Government.There needs to be even greater slashing of these and senior management and not politically motivated cuts on cleaning or libraries.

DavidNovember 13th 2014.

its funny that despite the lavish extra spending the city got by screaming 'deprivation ' it's schools were terrible,it's streets dirty.Like some African banana republic in receipt of massive aid in which nothing seems to improve,the city squanders money on thousands of extra non jobs and lavish management pay instead of concentrating on the core tasks ofa council.The record of the council in reducing poverty is appalling. Manchester is a great city with very creative and good business people.Unfortunately now of that is reflected in the mediocre people who administer it.who bask in the revival of the city,which they did almost nothing to contribute to.If Manchester had been run entirely without these people it would be a far richer,more clean place,with a education system that did not condemn it's poorest citizens to staying in poverty.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

basically, most of the council is ran by staff who were 'in the right place at the right time'. they are sitting waiting for redundancy/pension pot releases. meanwhile, we have to pay consultants massive amounts of money to do the jobs they (full time council employees) should be doing but havent the ability to do. then, said employees, say no to consultants expert advice as they suddenly realise it may affect their own jobs/positions and redundancy/pension pots! its a joke. clear out the dead wood from within to save money, not from the budgets for the needy.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

This Tory led government should be truly ashamed. Absolutely shocking behaviour - but what did people expect? What should concern people more is that if they get in again, there will be yet another round of unnecessary and unfairly targeted reductions even though local public services have already been cut to the bone. We would get the worst of both worlds - a poorly performing economy and large sections of society struggling whilst seemingly those at the very top it's business as normal. Frightening.

17 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

The Tory led government is just sorting the mess out. The party that should be ashamed of its actions is Labour. Bankers caused the world wide financial crisis but it was made worst in the UK by a profligate Labour government spending money we didn't have on all kinds of projects that supported their political ideology. The thought that they may get back in again makes my blood run cold. They like to pretend that they are a caring party but the only thing they really care about is their own grip on power. That's nationally and even worse locally where the amount of power they wield in no way reflects the voting patterns of the electorate. At a national level we have Balls desperately trying to belittle the growth in the economy, the number of people who are back in work (thrown out of work by an incompetent Labour Government). They truly are the nasty party.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

The Tories have proven themselves to be incompetent where it comes to the economy and clueless when it comes to social issues. The worst of both worlds. The economy has very belatedly recovered the output lost during the recession but later than almost anywhere else and at the cost of dire levels of productivity, business investment, long term youth unemployment. And why? Because it is a 'recovery' driven by consumer spending and debt built on short term, low paid low skilled McJobs; a mirage, a piece of spin which you seem to have swallowed hook, line and sinker. As for their record on social issues - well you only have to witness the pattern of cuts to local authority budgets, disproportionately hitting deprived urban areas, to see how much they understand let alone care about these issues. The nasty party is the one in power and the only people they understand are the ones most like themselves, the privileged so-called elite. Do we really want another 5 years of stagnation whilst they bang on to themselves about the EU?

DarrenNovember 13th 2014.

2nd anon....deluded.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

No Darren, the evidence is there for all to see. Whether hard economic statistics or the anecdotal experience of everyday life for millions. And in the evidence in this article outlining the incredible scale of cuts to local public services. It will only get worse if they get in again.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

Darren, you surely can be seriously saying that Labour are a fiscally competent political party? Have you been listening to Cassandra Balls too much? They are inept. Balls thinks the way forward is to borrow and spend which was part of the approach that got us in the mess in the first place. Please wake up and smell the coffee before next May. The country has come a long way from 2010 and we really can't afford to have Labour back. They need a long time in opposition while they get their ideas sorted out. At the moment they don't even recognise that they were part of the mess. Try and stop deluding your self Darren.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

Anon above I think you're he deluded one after the last 5 years of incompetence and needless suffering people have had to endure. Less an economic policy than a failed ideology. Hardly any other developed nation has had growth as poor as the UK and such a high proportion of low paid low skilled insecure jobs. All whilst our public services are slashed and burned. The Tories are a shambolic administration with a skill for in-fighting and spin and little else it would seem.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

Anon above...surely you mean Labour don't you? I wouldn't trust them to feed our cat let alone run the country. Milliband is a joke isn't he? They are going to reveal the real leader before May aren't they. At least we no longer have to put up with Blair now he's retired to his multi million £ property empire. And the rest if them with their kids in private schools and their houses in Hampstead. Looking down on us little people.

DarrenNovember 14th 2014.

Sorry, I meant the 2nd reply! You can't trust labour. They made the mess and the government are sorting it out.

AnonymousNovember 14th 2014.

Are you hallucinating Darren? This government have proven themselves to be completely inept in their handling of the economy, turning growth at the time of the last election back into recession and prolonging the recession far longer than it ever needed to be. And creating legions of low paid jobs giving the impression of competence. You've been well and truly suckered by their spin.

AnonymousNovember 14th 2014.

Glad we've sorted that out Darren. Agreed that Labour are a fiscally inept party. When they left the Treasury in 2010 they left that infamous note 'there's no money left.' It was one of those rare occasions when a politician actually told the truth. It's taken 5 years to get back to where we are now and it would be folly to hand it back to Labour to wreak again. I suspect that the anon above it actually Ed 'Cassandra' Balls as it's the kind of thing he says every time there is some good news about the economy. He just can't stand that the present government have actually got it right.

AnonymousNovember 14th 2014.

Got it right? Another deluded / gullible fool. For all the reasons stated previously, whether measured by hard economic data or by person experience of millions, the current government have proven themselves to be inept in the handling of the economy. The repercussions of their incompetence are now being felt in the destruction of local public services, the burden of which they have deliberately designed to fall hardest on the most deprived urban areas across the country. Truly disgraceful behaviour.

AnonymousNovember 14th 2014.

As far as I can see things are improving. Business leaders are happy. We are seeing less people on benefits. We are seeing more powers to the regions. Genuine talk and plans of huge investment in the north of England. We are becoming less London centric. We are clearing the debt that was created by labour, but the Tories could pave the street in marble, give everyone a Rolls Royce, treble your salaries and double your holiday entitlement, and some would still find fault with them. It must be in built like your football team. Unwilling to see the facts and blindly follow one party from the cradle to the grave regardless how much money the squander of how many people die in illegal wars. Wake up!

AnonymousNovember 14th 2014.

@anon two above.... Take off your rose tinted glasses about Labour. They were financially inept and nothing has changed to convince the country otherwise. The mess that Labour left the country was deeper than we first thought. The present government has fought back and got us into a position where we can look to the future with some confidence. Any cuts to services can be directly traced back to the actions of greedy bankers worldwide helped by a finanacially profligate Laboutpr government. And then there were the unnecessary wars that cost us dear. Before they ever become a government again they need to radically change.

AnonymousNovember 15th 2014.

I don't think anyone seriously believes that this current government have run the economy and the country with any degree of competence - other than the Tory fan boys obviously. 5 years of needless pain thanks to their economic mismanagement resulting in low or no growth, dire job prospects and living standards for millions. The state of this country is an embarrassed compared to most other developed nations. The only positive thing they've done is start the ball rolling on regional devolution but the rest is pure spin or claiming credit for others achievements. Meanwhile public services that are really important helping to prevent problems and costs further down the line are slashed due to unnecessary cuts handed down by a government that appear to know the coat of everything but the value of nothing www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/…/please-dont-take-away-lifeline-8112181…

rinkydinkNovember 15th 2014.

Can you imagine the state we'd been if Labour were still in? Shudder

rinkydinkNovember 15th 2014.

Be in

AnonymousNovember 15th 2014.

Does anyone seriously believe that Labour could possibly run the economy given the mess that made of it last time. Only Labour and their die hard supporters think that they can. The rest of the country will take a lot of convincing.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2014.

Didn't you mean to say Labour have proven themselves incompetent? Surely?

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