UPDATE:-My amendments to the Budget were unsuccessful, and the cuts to Children Services have gone through, with Labour Councillors voting instead to keep their press officers, support officers, and allowances (with the Lib Dems abstaining)
Coverage in islington Tribune here
November 2015-shock rise in crime in Islington reported.
Original Post from 27 February:-
At Islington Council’s Budget Meeting tonight, the Council is potentially going to make a grave error with its proposed drastic cuts in children’s services.
The Council has of course been unfairly hit by disproportionate and draconian funding cuts from central Government, and there are inevitably difficult decisions to make.
However, targeting posts in Children’s Services is making the axe fall in the wrong place, and potentially putting vulnerable children at risk.
In my amendment, I will argue that the cuts should fall instead on the bloated Communications budget (currently running at about £1million per year), and on Councillors own allowances.
When Labour took control in Islington in 2010, they had pledged to “slash” expenditure on both communications spending and allowances. Now they can fulfil that pledge, and protect a front-line service.
My budget amendment also provides additional funding for road safety, especially around schools, and preventing bike theft (which is prolific in Islington)
I’m trying to stop the Councils proposed slashing of jobs in children’s services. (See appendix B esp items 3,4 and 7) In nearly £4million of proposed cuts, there are six senior posts and a management post being deleted amongst staffing reduction.
I will protect these posts by instead:–
-abolishing party political spin doctors
-abolishing the Councils propaganda magazine “Islington Life”
-reducing the Councils million pound Communications budget by about a third
-reducing Councillor allowances by 10% (to follow the example of Council Leader Richard Watts)
(I will follow Cllr Watts Leadership, and take a 10% reduction in allowances, whatever the outcome of the budget amendment)
-abolishing “special allowances” for chairing planning meetings.
My amendment also provides funding for an air quality strategy to tackle killer pollution levels.
Finally, my amendment also provides some additional funding for the Advice Alliance- there help for vulnerable people needed more than ever with Coalition attacks on welfare and the needy.
(Also topical, with today’s announcement by Grayling killing off Criminal Legal Aid)