A continual cry from Birmingham’s Labour Councillors is that times are hard. We’ve had Sir Albert’s “jaws of doom” and “the end of local government as we know it”. Every time they make an unpopular decision, they blame it on the Government – that’s why they’ve had to make these horrid cuts they say (never mentioning of course that the current Coalition Government is having to sort out the financial mess left by Gordon’s Brown’s previous Labour administration. Oh no!). There’s no money, they insist. And yet…..
…..when they want to spend money, they can, and they do! Having acquired a grant of £30 million from the Government to guarantee weekly rubbish collections, the Labour Council is using this money to implement a wheelie bin scheme. I don’t happen to think it’s a good idea to spend it in that way, but they were always going to as that’s the scheme they asked for the money for.
This scheme is costing in total not just the £30 million they got from Government in the form of a grant, but around £62 and a half million, which will be funded from the Government grant, revenue and borrowing.
They are taking £8 million from the depot improvement fund to buy wheelie bins and trucks. And they have budgeted to spend over £9 million – that’s 14% of the entire wheelie bin budget, on advertising and publicity.
Times are hard, they say? Not that hard, obviously if they can afford to spend £9 million advertising and publicising a scheme which is going to happen anyway. That’s Labour priorities for you.