Camden’s finances: Labour U turn – cuts, risks and ethics?

Cllr Don Williams, Conservative Finance Spokesman on Camden Council, outlines Camden’s Labours finances: Labour U turn – cuts, risks and ethics?

■In 2010, Labour’s bad choices had left Britain broke. Government, businesses and individuals all had to cut back and become more efficient. We can now see the benefits of our sacrifices in a resurgent economy, with unemployment in Camden now at an all-time low.

■ For the last 4 years, we have suggested a range of new income streams, innovative ways of working and efficiencies that would have had a minimal effect on front-line services. Labour always said no. Now they plan massive cuts to staff, before they’ve consulted residents about proposed changes to services.

■ We proposed some cuts to temporary staff of around £1M to £1.5M per year; Labour said no. Now they plan cuts of £5M in 2015/16 alone. Cutting staff by 20% in 1 year will be risky – bad for staff, bad for services and bad for you.

■ Labour have also taken on our idea to use advertising to increase revenue. They are pinning almost all their hopes on promoting digital screen advertising on walls across Camden – hoping to achieve £2.5M from a standing start! Camden Conservatives had suggested building up a mixed income stream of new and old sources of advertising and other income generation activities – not putting all of our eggs in one untested basket.

■ Surprisingly, no mention was made of an ethical framework for the proposed new digital screen advertising. Most residents do NOT want to see violence or sexually explicit material splattered on our library walls for all to see. Let’s hope Camden take Transport for London’s example and keep these ads clean!

■ Camden Labour: Saying one thing until they’re elected, then doing as they please!