If government achieved local government’s effectiveness, public services would be exemplary. Local government serves the people and is responsive to direct feed-back to its decision-making. Parliament is consumed by hubris and belief in sound-bites.
The last ten years have wrecked the British economy. George Osborne’s response to the 2008 banking crisis was the ‘Age of Austerity’ programme. This exacerbated the dire economic situation and Havering has paid the price ever since. Havering’s government grant has been reduced by more than half since 2010. Austerity forced Damian White and Roger Ramsey to make despicable decisions, punishing the disabled and the most vulnerable.
Blair’s wars, 2003-10, look cheap in comparison to implementing Universal Credit. This was extended to 2023 for an additional £500 million. Johnson’s go-ahead to HS2 is a £100 billion gamble. Trident’s unusable missiles soak up £100 billion and Chris Grayling’s reformed probation service cost £500 million before being binned. Theresa May gave a billion to the DUP for 10 votes in 2017. A billion! Meanwhile no-one knows the cost of Brexit.
Government is an albatross around Havering’s neck. At least Johnson has promised to tackle the ridiculous Council Tax bands. Multi-million mansions will, hopefully, pay a realistic amount. The broad shoulders of house owners in Emerson Park, for example, will take some of the load that the poor suffered in the 2019 Havering budget.
For Afghanistan see https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/may/30/afghanistan-war-cost-britain-37bn-book
For Iraq see https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/blood-and-treasure-costs-iraq-war
For the 2008 banking crisis see https://www.theweek.co.uk/87574/ten-years-on-the-financial-crisis-in-numbers
For the effect of the Age of Austerity on local government see https://www.ft.com/content/9c6b5284-6000-11e7-91a7-502f7ee26895
For Universal Benefit see https://www.computerweekly.com/news/4500248772/Universal-Credit-costs-leap-by-more-than-20-to-158bn
For HS2 see https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/hs2-cost-buy-billion-nhs-education-brexit-a9293021.html