End Of Local Government As We Know It

Council House, Birmingham (1)

Council House, Birmingham (1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jane Dudman asks whether the unprecedented local authority cuts will result in the end of local government as we know it. She highlights the situation in Birmingham. “The figures are staggering: £600m must be taken out of Birmingham City Council‘s budget alone by 2017. As historian and Labour MP Tristram said: ‘the cuts put at grave risk the heroic, civilising function of local government,’” she writes. Privatisation and outsourcing, the mantra of right-wing governments, no longer hold much appeal, she adds.

 

#albert-bore, #birmingham, #birmingham-city-council, #eric-pickles, #government, #jane-dudman, #labour, #local-government

Foster Children Being Forced To Look After Themselves

Aging-Out-of-Foster-Care

Aging-Out-of-Foster-Care (Photo credit: epnichols)

Research has discovered that thousands of children are being forced to leave foster and residential care at 16 unprepared to look after themselves. A third of all children in residential homes and a fifth of those in the care system move out at that age and are expected to be able to cope with running a flat and paying their bills. This is eight years earlier than the average home-leaver. Last year only 240 young people were funded in care by their local authority until 21, up from 230 the year before.

Just when you think this government could not come up with another way to save money, this article cropped up on my radar! The age of these children being as young as 16 and being expected having been moved from pillar to post for years, to have the ability to look after themselves in the community!

This l can only call the ” Pontius Pilot Syndrome “ as it is so simply to wash their hands of such a time-consuming system  of looking after children that have to be put into foster homes, through no fault of their own! As their parents can no longer look after them or the child is in danger and vulnerable!

In this world we have a government that on one hand says we CARE and on the other hand if it COST too much and they cannot get away with PRIVATISATION  of the service provision, they withdraw the funding!

Thus leaving the local authority to foot the bill for the next 5 years!  

#child, #children-youth-and-family, #family, #foster-care, #health, #home, #residential-care, #youth

Barclays Scandal Continues

LONDON (Reuters) – Barclays, already rocked by an interest rate rigging scandal, unveiled new U.S. regulatory investigations into the bank’s financial probity on Wednesday and said its profit was hit by charges for mis-selling insurance.

#ace-finance-alert, #banking, #barclays, #reuters

Heseltine’s Plans-Get Cautionary Seal Of Approval-But Get It Right Or Else

Guests at the opening included Lord Heseltine ...

Guests at the opening included Lord Heseltine and the event was opened by ECF chairman Sir Michael Lyons (Photo credit: EG Focus)

Mmmm....cake.  And government info.

Mmmm….cake. And government info. (Photo credit: emkeller)

Commentators are beginning to digest the recommendations contained in Lord Heseltine’s report on regional growth. David Cameron praised the report as excellent. Birmingham City Council’s initial reaction has been extremely positive, according to the Birmingham Post. The FT advises caution on calls for decentralisation, pointing out that the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPS) that shout the loudest may get the funding. Those LEPs may not have the necessary expertise to spend wisely, the paper contends. John Longworth head of the British Chambers of Commerce is quoted in the FT on LEPS: “Some LEPS are fantastic, but others are appalling, with unwieldy boards and too many objectives. On these, local councils are too dominant and businesses have given up because the bureaucracy is too great”. The FT also reports that some LEP leaders are threatening to walk out unless they can make “real progress on the ground” soon.

This was snippet of news that l thought required a deeper thought process as to the how, what and why this will not work, in practice! On the face of it Mr Heseltine was commissioned to provide a report to try to whiten, an already tarnished reputation! As had previously been reported in numerous papers that Cameron and Osborne, are out of touch with the general public.

This report seems to be trying to make a ” silk purse out of a sow’s ear” as these so-called austerity measures, really only help those that have plenty and leave those who do not, worse off!  This may seem like a good thing and it is so easy to use the previous governments track record, to blame for our massive indebtedness.

Though if we look deeper we see the cracks appearing way back when this government held sway, with a so-called ” iron lady “ at the helm. Even though we know iron rusts albeit slowly, so this new raft of plans that has been floated, seems a little unsteady in the economic water. The fact that a few of the same organisations and defenders of the government strategy, utter words of praise, they all add a cautionary note of ” it better work and soon” what l ask! Or maybe l should say ” how “ because that is what alludes this government,  simply how do we gain growth and still keep inflation low and at the same time reduce employment and finally most important keep our voters, happy! 

The answer is they cannot as one will outweigh the other as we all know and then its back to the drawing board and they start over again, the problem with this new report and it is a real problem – Cameron and Osborne have to first agree and then give something away!

This is simply POWER over the budgetary cheque-book for councils to have the POWER to spend the money their way, without knowing whether it will work! If it does not and when all the money will have been spent! We will all be in a worst debt situation, than we were before! That is apart from the rich and those that decided this new raft would not sink! But really of all the rafts that have so far been been built, by this government all have sunk without trace! So why do they think it will work this time!

Personally at this stage in the proceedings l do not see this government giving anything away, unless it gets something in return in the first place, do you!

#birmingham-post, #british-chambers-of-commerce, #david-cameron, #government, #lep, #local-enterprise-partnership, #lord-heseltine, #michael-heseltine

Merkel reassures Turkey on EU talks, Erdogan raps Cyprus.

The Eurozone needs other countries to join so they can fill their coffers with money and only be reassuring other countries everything is all right in the Garden, will this be achieved! The fact that holding together a fiscal union in the light of all the impending scandal, is a trick that is not going to be achievable!

Rivers of Hope

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BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel toldTurkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday the European Union (EU) would pursue accession talks with his country in good faith, despite some persistent disagreements.

Erdogan said on Tuesday the EU would lose Turkey if it did not grant it membership by 2023, the first time he has indicated how long Ankara might continue down the path towards EU entry.

Turkey’s talks to join the bloc, launched in 2005, have all but ground to a halt due to an intractable dispute over the divided island of Cyprus, an EU member, and opposition from core EU members France…

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