...but Kirsten Bayes didn’t. Does Cllr Bayes not agree with the points he makes?
“1. This is not a shortsighted attempt at deficit-denying. It explicitly acknowledges the need for deficit reduction – with the consequences.
2. In being scathing about Pickles, as I have done before, it underlines a collective and cross-party loss of confidence that the Secretary of State understands localism (more on that later), understands the challenges local councils face, or for that matter cares. Reports about the derisory amounts of time Pickles has spent with the LGA (led by his Conservative Bradford successor Margaret Eaton) suggest he simply doesn’t care.
3. There is also a sense that Pickles has put the boot into local government while presiding over a bureaucracy ripe for efficiency savings of his own. Had the cuts been frontloaded onto the Civil Service, those of us in local government might have been slightly more sympathetic.”
They seem very moderate and reasonable to me. The cuts being foisted on Reading by the Conservative-led national government need to be recognised as hitting our local services hard and badly, and we need council leaders who are willing to stand up to central government and argue for a better settlement.
I’m not sure the local Libdems (of which lets remember Gareth is one), after all he has backed the local Conservatives at every council vote since May. I’m sure at the elections in May he’ll be judged on his actions.