an “Alternative to Cuts”

More evidence comes to light that the £35M was a myth dreamt up by some Council spin doctors. In a recent partially answered FOI request it looks like the Council over budgeted for wages in the £11m committed funding they tagged onto £24M reduction in grants.

the Council budgeted for £5m on wage increase due to pay award

The City Council’s largest area of expenditure is staffing, the overall pressure in this area totaled circa £5million. This figure included the anticipated nationally negotiated pay awards of £250 for thoseemployees earning less than £21,000, contractual increments and increases to employer superannuation contributions and also employer national insurance changes.

but it appears the pay award is only for civil servants,

the pay award (originally budgeted at 1% was reduced to only allowing for £250 for those earning under £21,000, which was stated in Budget 2010 by the Government for public sector workers. This has since changed again to 0% increase for all employees after the budget was set in February 2011 as it has since been confirmed that this only applies to civil servants

but no figure is given on actually cost now, or what the remainer of the £5M will now be used for.

Also the £1M cut from budget as part of the £11m committed funding for “Carbon Reduction Commitment scheme” turns out was placed in the wrong budget, as this can actually be funded through the Dedicated Schools Grant.

So while Stoke Labour Councillors are down in London fighting for an “Alternative to Cuts” if they had just asked a few Questions of the Lib Dem Cllr Kieran Clarke they would have found an ALTERNATIVE in Stoke to the CUTS Stoke Labour Councillors agreed.

Being in coalition with Tories and Libdems is no excuse for not asking simple questions, will Labour Councillors now put pressure on the other coalition members to use this funding as an “Alternative to Cuts” and save services they have not yet closed Tunstall Pool and Bus Services spring to mind?

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