Greenwich Council: More tax, worse services

At the January Council meeting, the Labour Council made a series of decisions which will cost Council Tax payers and tenants in Greenwich more, but provide either the same or a lower level of service.


The key items they considered were:-

• A 4.4% rise in rents to Council tenants – this is more than the rate of inflation and double the public sector pay deal which Gordon Brown proposes.  It is combined with a programme of £3.3m in cuts this year and a similar level next year – including cuts to repairs and street cleaning budgets;
• The abolition of the bonus scheme for many workers, which it is openly admitted will decrease productivity;
• The introduction of a new voluntary redundancy strategy which the Council’s own report stated “represents a major issue for the Council’s financial strategy".

Conservative Councillors expressed serious concerns over the likely impact of the Single Status negotiations on the pension fund (which will receive £11m less) and the possible impact of higher redundancy payments on the scheme.

Conservative Group leader Cllr Spencer Drury said, “The Labour Council introduced millions of pounds of extra spending in January.  It openly admitted that the rent rises and the changes to the redundancy scheme were the result of the Labour government’s actions and ignored the loss of output from abolishing the bonus scheme.

“The three items considered last night amounted to a nothing for something deal – tax and rent payers will have to pay more, but in return they will receive a worse service.  This Council seems to have no idea how to achieve value for money for taxpayers in Greenwich.”