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Council Set To Slash Millions From Budget

Friday July 19 2013


Sir Steve Houghton Sir Steve Houghton


BARNSLEY Council is about to slash a massive £9million from its budget - putting 151 jobs at risk.

The severity of the cuts, half way through the financial year, is likely to mean more compulsory redundancies than ever before at the council.

Departments that in the past have been protected will not be this time around. That means for the first time there will be reductions in spending on highways, neighbourhood pride and waste management.

Some youths clubs will close, the bin/recycling collections will be altered, senior management will be dramatically cut, there will be fewer care managers and assessors, business centres will close, there will be cuts in supported living/community alarms spending for vulunerable adults, bereavement services fees will go up by six per cent and £1.5million will be taken from the council's legal, finance and human resources services.

As if these cuts, which are expected to be approved by the full council next week, were not enough, more are to follow.

Council leader, Sir Steve Houghton, says the council has been forced to make these mid-year cuts because of the sheer size of the cuts it is facing at the end of the year and for the next two years after that.

The stark facts are that Barnsley Council has already chopped £45million from its annual budget over the past three years. By next year a further £18million will have been cut.

Cllr Houghton said: "We had to start with this £9million of cuts early because of the sheer scale of the budget restrictions we're facing. You cannot just take £18million of cuts and roll that out over a few months - it takes time.

"Yes it makes me sad, but more than that it makes me angry because Barnsley is facing cuts to services because of the way the government is funding local government and places in the south of England are proportionately being given a lot more than us.

"For the past few years we have managed to protect certain services and will do our best to continue to do so. But with so many cuts year after year we are having to make difficult choices no department is now safe and yes people will start to see a difference.

"We have managed to avoid huge compulsory jobs losses in the past, but I accept that this time around we may not be able to do so.

"We will continue to be innovative and flexible and do everything we can to protect services and jobs, but it is far from easy and the government predictions of its spending on local government does not give us any glimmer of hope."

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Reply Posted by Stevo on Friday July 19 2013 at 17:26
Surprise, Surprise Houghton bleating about Tory cuts yet again!

If you are that bothered HOUGHTON then why don't you and the upper echelons of management in your newly renovated municipal ivory tower take a substantial pay CUT?

No thought so, you and your old boy, back slapping, crony network would never dream of such a thing would you?

Barnsley folk are sick of you and the rest of the gravy trainers.

Reply Posted by Graham on Sunday July 21 2013 at 23:24
How disrespectful to our esteemed leader, Sir Stephen Houghton.

(What a failure the man has been in his political life. I can only think that the organising committee were desperate to give a knighthood to somebody who lived in Barnsley and he dropped lucky. As daft as it seems, it could perhaps have been me or you. Well, perhaps not me, but possibly you)


Reply Posted by guesty mcguest on Monday July 22 2013 at 12:58
70k senior Marketing job advertised 2 months back (13k over the industry median)
131k leader salary - plus 33k in expenses - none of it earned
143k Chief exec pay for diana tenris with whom the BMBC told us with great conviction about how she had actually taken a pay cut of 5k to join us (and then in brackets - over the course of one year and would be reviewed the following.

Not sure about Roy Miller but he is a drain I woudn't pay him in lunch vouchers.

Wonder if there is any chance of reducing the councillor numbers per ward - no?

Watching the council minutes is like watching an old monty python sketch about the 4 yorkshiremen. Bloody mayor is as thick as mince and half as useful

To say that these people do not live on this planet is an understatement.




Reply Posted by Jon on Monday July 22 2013 at 13:06
Cut the number of councillors starting with Roy Miller, his expenses alone will save a fortune & if nothing gets done cos he's not there - we won't notice the difference. Also sell the Mayors number plate, an assett that was got for nothing years ago that is no longer needed. I'm sure it's worth a bob or two.

Reply Posted by Steve on Monday July 22 2013 at 13:33
The number plate 'THE 1' may well be worth a fair few quid, however I am sure there is some obligatory 'rule' from the donator that the number plate must never be sold.

Reply Posted by Stevo on Monday July 22 2013 at 13:51
£100,000 THE 1 is worth.

Reply Posted by Jon on Monday July 22 2013 at 13:57
Was the number plate donated? I'm sure I've heard stories that it wasn't and that the council requested it, it was free and so they got it, years ago before private plates were even thought of. If the plate is worth £100,000 then we could waste the money for 20 years in insuring the nit comb!!
BY the way Roy Miller, where are the holly bushes that you claimed were being planted as a security measure to prevent people from climbing it?? Is this another job that you're in charge of that will take an eon to complete Roy??

Reply Posted by Guesty Mcguest on Wednesday July 24 2013 at 09:30
They are there jon they are just underground, and there were bats, and there were special planters that needed to come from a special place, they will be in the gardens in August erm september erm january etc etc etc

Reply Posted by A Nonnie Mouse on Wednesday July 24 2013 at 16:30
Hello Guesty, Is it true that the new Royal Prince is gonna be named Roy after Roy Miller?? Apparently they thought it would be quite apt as the new prince will also be loaded, drive round in a flash land rover and get money every year for doing nothing - just like Roy Miller??

Reply Posted by Mick on Monday July 22 2013 at 13:09
We need change and as long as we keep voting them in we will not get any .Labour a too safe in Barnsley and apathy has set in from the top down.They don't have to get results because they are not a risk from being removed from power .We need people to fight for a better life for the people of Barnsley and from our MP,s to our councillers i say this do you job!

Reply Posted by Stevo on Monday July 22 2013 at 14:14
Mick I concur.

The Labour idiots have had it far too good for far too long as far as I am concerned.

If only the rest of the townfolk thought the same and removed their heads from the sand then we might actually get change in our town.

It also has to be said that they get voted in time after time because they don't need a large majority to get back in and people cant be bothered to vote in the first place.

You only have to look at the calibre of mp's and councillors we have:

Jarvis - Candidate from outside the area (Nottingham), do you honestly think that he is going to have the interests of Barnsley people at heart when he is not from the town?
He was only put up as a candidate for MP as Labour knew it would be a safe bet.
A monkey in an astronauts suit with a red rosette would be more effective!

Dugher - 38 years of age, has had a lot of "life skills" then hasn't he?
Has egotistical sycophantic tendencies to Jarvis and is full of good ideas, not.

Miller - Our favourite ape. Complete and utter waste of snap and bacca, didn't like it when I challenged him regarding the outline planning proposals in our village and soon buggered off as loads of people were giving him grief.
Cost "US" £20,000 Last year in expenses.
Can never get hold of him, him having a telephone is a complete waste of time as he never answers the bloody thing.
Doesn't directly answer any questions put to him in his surgeries.
Modelled himself on Adolf Hitler and watched his speeches to give him inspiration whilst attending meetings as a Union Representative.
(this is the truth by the way I am not making this up!)

Burgess - Another waste of time, gaffe prone on every major issue she has been involved in.
AND Involved in possibly the biggest Gaffe of her career when Parkside at Darton closed with the loss of 400 jobs.
She actually had the cheek to say (in the chron) that the employees of Parkside shouldn't worry that their factory was closing as there were plenty of jobs available in Barnsley.

IDIOT!

I for one am not prepared to sit back whilst the Labour idiots continually ruin or town, it is time to kick them out and show that us, The ordinary people of Barnsley are pig sick of the Labour idiot gravy trainers.

Reply Posted by Charles on Monday July 22 2013 at 16:59
Stevo: I think that there are currently 53 Labour councillors on Barnsley council. From that group the brightest and most able are promoted from the ranks to positions of authority. These people have razor-sharp brains and it is intended that they should drive the activities of the council forward with pace and vigour. The two councillors who you criticise above are two of this elite group. If you think that those two are inept (and they are) then give some thought to the dross which sits on the Labour back benches.

Just who votes for these people?

Reply Posted by Stevo on Monday July 22 2013 at 17:32
Charles, again I concur.

Apathetic people must vote for the red rosette just as their fathers and their fathers before them have done.

Surely the penny is going to drop with Barnsley folk that these Labour idiots have done sod all for this town?

Or do you think they will keep voting Labour in every time as it is just the "done thing" in our town, that's if they can even bother to vote.

Reply Posted by A Nonnie Mouse on Wednesday July 24 2013 at 16:35
Harry Spence stood as a so called independent in Darton East cos Roy Miller & Parkinson were already in as Labour, when Parkinson retired Harry's daughter wanted to stand as the Labour candidate - so Harry immediately cancelled his Independent status, converted across to Labour and stood as her sponsor???? Nepotism over realism eh Harry??
By the way wasn't Roy Miller the sponsor for the Labour MP when he got elected who got sent to prison for his expenses claim?

Reply Posted by Jon on Monday July 22 2013 at 13:47
Hi WAB,
How about you publish an article detailing how & what people need to do if they wish to become a councillor and what the role actually involves. Could you ask Harry Spence for his comments on why he stood and was elected as an INDEPENDENT councillor and then decided to switch across to Labour so that he could act as a sponsor for his daughter who wanted to stand as a Labour councillor?

Reply Posted by Stevo on Monday July 22 2013 at 13:53
Harry Spence is a turncoat of the highest order.

He only defected to the Labour Old Boys, Back Slapping network when he realised he was p*ssing in the wind being an independant.

Reply Posted by flapper on Monday July 22 2013 at 14:31
Look...they need the cash for these important pieces of art !!!! By god,what a way to spend a budget. I could do better.

Reply Posted by flapper on Monday July 22 2013 at 14:36
I dearly hope that behind closed doors someone at these budget spending meetings is trying to put forward the view that alot of our money is being wasted (nit comb). I just hope that not all the councillers are totally blindfolded and that eventually common sense will prevail?

Reply Posted by Craig on Monday July 22 2013 at 16:06
Dan Jarvis has worked hard for this town - mum works closely with him and speaks very highly of his work. Supports local events and speaks up for the town. Councils in the north have suffered terrible cuts under this government

Reply Posted by A Nonnie Mouse on Wednesday July 24 2013 at 16:39
Dan Jarvis is a grafter and does seem to have the area at his heart in what he does, however, we need to see more action and hear more from him if he is campaigning about the the terrible cuts. What about this latest £9million that we cant afford.

By the way if we want to fix holes in the road, it only costs £5 a bag for tarmac from Wickes and I'm sure there's loads of people doing community service who could carry them round the streets and fill in the holes instead of working for Tesco's etc as part of their service???

Reply Posted by flapper on Monday July 22 2013 at 16:24
Northern Councils have probobly faired just as bad as other councils Craig. But with the money thats left,surely its thier duty to spend it wisely, not £5000 per year to insure a piece of rusty artwork. They need to get a grip,its our money not theres and they should spend it respectfully on the people not on what They want. Dan Jarvis may be ok,but he could use his position and publicly denounce the decision to spend our money on what most people deem to be a waste. Its disrespectfull to you,me and the other rate payers. Surely you get my point.

Reply Posted by A Nonnie Mouse on Wednesday July 24 2013 at 16:40
I Agree Flapper, well said.

Reply Posted by flapper on Monday July 22 2013 at 16:33
Just as the council try to explain to us about the cuts and slashing of services,have they ever explained the reasoning behind the spendings? ie; the rented statue??? why has this ever been allowed? Its like me not being able to afford to pay my rates, but I will go and have my hair and spray tan done. Am I missing something here? Please tell us what good these spendings are good for. Im just trying to imagine what its like to have lost your job,and no other job in sight....ermm demoralising.

Reply Posted by craig on Monday July 22 2013 at 16:42
Sorry you are incorrect as to the extent of the cuts - I have a link to a league table which shows the extent of the cuts in terms of cuts per person. Highest councils are predominantly northern and labour controlled. In Liverpool we have lost on average £330 per person from the budget - a massive hole that the council is finding very difficult to plug. Barnsley is losing £170 per head - massive shortfall in the budget. It probably does waste money but it'd a pittance compared to the millions lost. You quote the 5,000 what does that buy?

Reply Posted by Charles on Monday July 22 2013 at 17:12
Before you can compare the extent of the cuts per person, it is important to know what the starting point was. Was it that councils in the north started at a higher figure than those in the south?

As most people know, figures can be produced to support just about any argument.

What I do know is that the south/south east of the country is significantly better placed geographically to benefit from economic progression. Consequently, other parts of the country need more financial support the further north you go. Whether the government share that view is perhaps doubtful.

Reply Posted by Stevo on Monday July 22 2013 at 17:34
Craig, that is the way it has always been.

I've lost count the amount of times we hear the Council leader moaning about Tory cuts.
They used to use that old chestnut every time they wanted to put the Council Tax up.

Reply Posted by A Nonnie Mouse on Wednesday July 24 2013 at 16:41
1000 bags of tarmac at Wickes that the Community service people could use to repair holes in the road

Reply Posted by Craig on Monday July 22 2013 at 17:39
So the north needs more finiancial support so why not give it instead of cutting back - place with the highest cut is Haringey - a labour controlled council in London.

Who should we vote in? Liverpool has swung between labour and lib dem for years - still facing a massive cut. Any Barnsley council would be facing these cuts.

Reply Posted by Stevo on Monday July 22 2013 at 18:03
Who should we vote in?

As far as I am concerned there are no political parties that I would vote for at this current time.

Labour most certainly have had it, as have the Lib Dems.
Wouldn't vote Tory on matter of principle
UKIP - Nasty Nazi's who's only real policy is on immigration, the rest are exactly the same as Tory policy.

So god Knows!

Reply Posted by ET on Monday July 22 2013 at 18:56
So Barnsley Council lets see where you make the chops, but be very careful chop too far in the wrong places and you all might be in for the chop next election time. Remember the old saying "you can't get blood out of a stone" Barnsley folk are made of strong stuff but they will only take so much. Be very careful!!!!

Reply Posted by Charles on Monday July 22 2013 at 19:17
One area to cut is the number of councillors for each ward. I am fairly sure that we do not need three in each ward. Two would be enough. I know that this will not save the council a fortune, but savings will be made. The town hall bureaucratic empire needs to be dismantled.

Reply Posted by Craig on Monday July 22 2013 at 21:11
Might be worth some of you watching undercover boss tonight on channel 4

Reply Posted by flapper on Tuesday July 23 2013 at 14:05
ok Craig,point accepted about the cuts,you seem to know your stuff, but as for saying what does £5000 buy? Thats my whole point, thats what the councillors must think. Its the principle of it, them just thinking the same. When I,m potless I watch every penny and so should they. I just dont understand how they can spend our money on a non profit making statue,thats not ours,and costs to insure,then a couple of months later announce these cuts. They are obviously making us hate the tories even more than we do already by blaming them for the lack of money, so why on gods earth are they spending what they do have on what most people see as a nit comb joke. Its poor housekeeping. Its like paying a fortune for a set of new pans and only having water to boil in them. Ok the museum may bring in some revenue,so fair enough but not a statue...poor management.

Reply Posted by craig on Wednesday July 24 2013 at 10:47
Sometimes you have to speculate to accumulate - I live in Liverpool where 72 million has just been spent on a new museum, 50 million to refit the library - these buildings bring in much needed visitors who help to boost the economy. Liverpool is having to make cut backs but has the fastest growing economy outside of London.

Reply Posted by Dean on Thursday July 25 2013 at 19:08
There making cuts but then building rubish like that in town was better as a carpark

Reply Posted by David on Friday July 26 2013 at 01:09
We must take care - we are all in this really -together !

Reply Posted by flapper on Sunday July 28 2013 at 19:21
Craig,you've swerved my observations luv. I agreed with you on the spending and on the museums,which I said would bring in revenue. Now you must agree with me that the scraggy statue is a disrespect full waste of my rates. Ask your mam to have a word in Fans ear hole...he should use his power to publicly denounce the spending of our money on crap. He,s suppose to be our ears,eyes and voice...has he got the guts to use them,or at least put forward a decent reason for such reckless spending.......are you a budding politician cos you skirted round my point.