Work together to mitigate the effects of council cuts, says Observer

Our independent columnist says council grants money will be needed to plug the gaps in care as more cuts loom.


‘To help make the savings, largely the result of cuts in Government funding and increased needs of residents, the council says closer work with partners and new ways of providing services are vital, but warns a continued impact on frontline services is unavoidable.’

Those words from a public announcement by East Sussex County Council should chill residents.

They signal more cuts, job losses and much more “DIY” from communities.

A self-help, can-do approach will be needed to try and plug the gaps.

It means a greater role for charities, organisations and businesses which do “good works”.

East Sussex County Council must ensure that cuts to frontline services, especially where people’s lives are involved, go hand-in-hand with money to allow other agencies to step in.

There is no reason in these days of so-called “joined-up government” why Wealden District Council and Uckfield Town Council (and other third tier councils) cannnot co-ordinate with the county council to ensure the best use is made of grants money.

Councils at present make grants to many organisations for the overall benefit of the community; in future those grants may be needed to support organisations plugging gaps in vital services.

SOUTHERN WATCH: At last some good news, well sort of. At the moment travellers can claim a rebate on part of their ticket if the train is late. The threshold for the sliding scale kicks in at 30 minutes but in future it will be 15 minutes.

Current standards suggest the delay repay team will be overwhelmed. Southern has a clever knack of squeaking the Uckfield train into the platform just a couple of minutes inside the current start point.

Secondly, it was good to read that the House of Commons Select Committee has savaged the government over its handling of the Southern franchise.

As I noted recently, most people believe the operator would have lost the franchise in normal circumstances.

The committee said the Department for Transport’s claim that no other operator could do a better job in the circumstances was no longer credible.

Exactly my point and thousands of others.

Can we expect some action from the DfT?

See also:

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