Friday, 21 November 2008

Budget shenanigans

I have held back on commenting on the council tax setting process in Sefton back I think that now is the time to bring readers up to date. Let us begin with the article in the Southport Visiter

I will comment on this later, but I draw your attention to the fact that someone has leaked the detailed figures. We have endured a lot of sanctimonious and unfounded criticism from Cllr Mrs Parry about confidential papers being 'leaked' She has made false accusations naming obviously innocent people. Now I wonder if she'll attack the leaker of these documents so roundly. I predict not. Mrs Parry is only worried about such things when the resulting publicity leaves her with a 'red face'.
Interestingly every journalist, politician and officer I have spoken to have all identified the same individual. Reading the article you may well be able to take an educated guess. I know that no Lib Dem was involved because the list in that form was only seen by two of us and we are both 'clean'. Ah well.

Anyway Tony has written to the Visiter with the following reply:

Dear Sir,

I was just a little taken aback by the comments of the Conservative and Labour Party Leaders on Sefton Council regarding the need for the Council to make £5m+ budget savings.Anyone who knows me realises that I always work to find a common way forward, I am in no way 'difficult to work with'. Neither do I bounce things on the other political parties.

With regard to the budget I have since the first Leaders’ meeting with Sefton Finance Director, some weeks ago, made my views clear and have asked the other Leaders to comment on them. The aim of such an approach has been to find areas on common agreement in the budgetary process. The fact that I have not had much in terms of responses to date has been a little disappointing.
As for my 'throwing money down the drain on bureaucracy' I would remind the other parties that it was my Group who pushed for greater savings by reducing the number of senior officer posts last year. My agenda is a cost efficient Sefton Council that carefully uses every penny of Council tax payers money.
I am still determined to try to make progress no matter how difficult that may be politically. Every penny that we save now will make the need for greater savings in 2009 less likely. Please no dithering, let's get on with putting Sefton Council on a level footing without delay.

Yours sincerely,

Cllr. Tony Robertson
Lib Dem Leader of Sefton Council