Liverpool City Council Spending Cuts
I attended a public meeting last Thursday at Liverpool Town Hall where the leadership of Liverpool City Council presented their spending plans for next year, what will take priority and the spending gap they have compared to last years budget. They explained that due to government cuts they will have less to spend but wanted to consult with the public as to how the money would be spent and to seek the public’s view.
From my point of view it was good to see that out of three priority categories, tourism and culture was number two. A clear recognition that the council value this aspect of our city and the need to invest in it if we are to grow both culturally and economically.
I must say though that the contribution of some members of the audience was ill mannered, juvenile and plain wrong!
People calling for the council to set an illegal budget are either daft or they haven’t read their history books. I was invovled in local politics 25 years ago when the cities finances and reputation were ruined by the Miltant Tendancy. It took nearly 20 years to recover from that. People calling for this sort of strategy are playing into the hands of Eric Pickles who would dearly love to take over the running of this city. The way they behaved was totally undemocratic in hogging the meeting for their own viewpoint.
One poor woman spent the meeting attacking Council Leader Joe Anderson over a funding difficulty she was having over her disabled child. Whilst I feel sorry for anyone in that situation it did her cause no favours by personally attacking councillor Anderson and refusing to sit down or stop intervening when other people had other issues and problems to raise.
I must say though, it is refreshing that the council opened its doors and allowed a measure of public participation. Rather than walk away from this process (and some of the headbangers at this meeting certainly tempted me!) we should encourage ordinary citizens to have their say.
Well done Liverpool City Council. You may not get everything right but at least you are attempting to listen. I hope through this blog and other forums that you will continue to encourage the ordinary folk of this city to have a say in theirs and their cities future.