16 October 2009

Are these real savings?

Lewisham's Officers have published their initial proposals for achieving the efficiency savings that are required to both drive more efficient use of public money and also to provide new money for new services and/or changes in the Council Tax.

This aspect of the budget setting process always causes interest as the focus is on which of the services are 'up for the chop' - when the picture is probably better painted as being 'pruned' or 'shaped' or 'adapted' to reflect a change in the demand for the services or different ways of doing things.

Lewisham's Officers have proposed replacing some of own funded programmes with grants from other government initiatives including Sure Start (see CYP07 £56k, CYP08 £91k, CYP17 £6k, CYP18 £82k, CYP21 £40) totalling £275,000 a year. Of course this means that public money is being spent - but not from the Council tax in Lewisham. Each of these proposals is rightly described as having a 'neutral impact' in terms of 'Inspiring efficiency, effectiveness and equity' - simply because all they do is transfer funding for the service from Lewisham to another Government Body - and do little to determine whether the service could be better run altogether.

The full report is available here

No comments: