Damian White’s a right-wing extremist who oozes machismo fuelled malice whilst inflicting spending cuts. His tragic lack of political aspiration only extends to keeping, “council tax increases as low as possible..”(2) (my emphasis)
Damian reduced Havering’s budget by £2 million when he defied government approved increases. The two million would have saved the library service and kept Chafford pool open.
Damian presents his political choices as though they’re inevitable.
“The funding Havering Council gets from central government has reduced by over £29 million since 2014/15 and £7 million more will be lost over the next two years.”(3)
This seems to tell us that cuts have been inflicted by the government. They haven’t. If the government’s proposition had been followed, libraries would have been saved. The 1,196,805 library users were sacrificed because they aren’t valued by Damian.
1,196,805 users of the libraries are victims of Damian’s obsession. His choice over Chafford leisure pool is a political punishment beating for the 100,000 users in an area which doesn’t vote Conservative. This pool allegedly needs £233,000 of maintenance, which is unaffordable.(4) If you deliberately reduce revenues then it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that essential services become unaffordable.
Damian’s minority administration should be stopped before irreparable damage to Havering is done.
1 https://consultation.havering.gov.uk/communications/haveringfrontdoors/supporting_documents/Havering%20front%20doors%20consultation%20PDF.pdf p7 Havering’s population is about 250,000 and therefore four times more than the total population use the library service.
2 ibid p3 The figures are: libraries cuts will yield £1.14M and another £233,000 from Chafford. Putting both together they are comfortably inside the £2 million not raised from Council Tax.
3 ibid p6 Damian is trying to protect the Conservative government by dating this from 2014. George Osborne’s austerity programme began in 2010. If we take that as the starting point then we find that there has been
“49.1% real-terms reduction in government funding for local authorities, 2010-11 to 2017-18.” This translates into a,
“28.6% real-terms reduction in local authorities’ spending power (government funding plus council tax), 2010-11 to 2017-18.” https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Financial-sustainabilty-of-local-authorites-2018.pdf p6