Councillor Harry Phibbs approached me recently to write a guest blog for ConservativeHome about “how to cut Council tax”. I said that I couldn’t do quite what he wanted, but was happy to write an article about where I thought spending cuts might be targeted in an environment where local government’s central funding is reduced substantially, and ‘efficiency’ no longer comes anywhere close to filling the gap.
The resulting blog post is here. Two things I should say – firstly, I’m not a Conservative – I say that both because I don’t want this to be seen as a partisan blog, but also because I don’t think ConservativeHome should be subject to mischief if someone decides to use my suggestions and claim they are ‘Conservative proposals’. I have worked with and for Councillors of all three main parties quite happily – they’re all individuals, and they all have their strengths and weaknesses. Secondly, while the article has been titled ‘where the axe must fall’, I am clear that I hope the very worst case scenario doesn’t arise, and in some cases I think the savings I’ve suggested should be on the table, but I would advise against them when it came down to it.
Anyway, my contribution to what I expect will be a lively debate. Fingers crossed that in five or ten years I’ll be writing about great ways to spend our unexpected new wealth. Doubt it, but life’s funny like that.