A+ A A-

'SHAMBOLIC' - RBKC confuses 'want' with 'need'

Following our short article by Tristan Hazel on homeless on the Portobello Rd., Emma Dent Coad puts RBKC expenditure in perspective.

 We know there are homeless people out there, thousands upon thousands of them, and we know there are rough sleepers. I have seen more and more tucked away in quiet corners of the borough over the summer, and left them to it; in warm weather it may be tolerable. Some rough sleepers have work of a kind (manual labour at a certain building site), some have come to the UK to work and found none, others have simply fallen off the edge.

So I shouldn’t have been shocked by this photo, sent in by a resident, of a rough sleeper on Portobello Road, with one layer of wrapping, lying on concrete on the coldest night of the year, Friday 5 December.

But I was.

Now sensitised, while I am out and about I look out for bundles of blankets and cardboard, and see quite a few. Sometimes there’s a poor soul hidden inside. How many will survive this freezing weather?

In a civilised society, in the self-professed ‘richest borough in the universe’ this is unforgivable. I have sat at meetings when Council officers backed by a pinstriped Cabinet Member have painstakingly explained how night shelters, lunch clubs, even food banks, encourage the hungry and un-housed to hang about in the borough. How unseemly! ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ and never mind where they will end up, half starved and rough sleeping.

So, the churches fill in where they can, and thank God and all the gods for that.

So reflect on this for a moment:

The ‘richest borough in the universe’

is CUTTING £150,000

from its homelessness prevention scheme this year.

Yes, the Council that can justify handing over, no strings attached, £5m to a loss-making business, Opera Holland Park, that some say has cost us cc£20m since inception - a ‘business’ that loses up to £125,000 per week on its eight-week summer run – is CUTTING the price of a week of opera (if you add in the cost of renting the location at Holland House, which is given free), for a year of homelessness prevention.

As we go about our rounds, we find the message of financial incompetence and tortured priorities by the Council is getting through. So, for the sake of absolute clarity and accuracy, here are some figures to feed your outrage this wintry season. So, when you are wondering how a civilised society and ‘fabulously’ rich Council can walk by someone sleeping on a pavement in below-zero temperatures, this is how:

Short course

‘SQUEEZING THE VULNERABLE TO FUND INDULGENCE’

Any organisation that has been run inefficiently for years can make savings through better planning and tightening up on costs.

But RBKC has taken this to a new level. While bleating ‘austerity’ and ‘tough decisions’ they have cut back on services, particularly focussed on  the most vulnerable who cannot speak for themselves.

And yet, most of this is simply unnecessary. Here’s why. Below you will see a table of government funding cuts to RBKC since 2010 (cuts = savings). In the third column is the total of UNDERSPENDING across the Council in the same year. All these sums have been taken from the Council’s own documentation:

Year
Government funding cut
Total underspend
 
2010/11
 
£11.6m
 
£9m
 
2011/12
 
£23m
 
£19.8m
 
2012/13
 
£13m
 
£24.3m
 
2013/14
 
£10m
 
£30.6m
 
TOTAL
 
£57.7m
 
£83.7m
A large chunk of the underspends every year are put into the Capital Reserve, to fund major projects such as the cc£100m Holland Park School.

The ‘usable Reserves’ from which capital and other projects are funded look like this:

10/11 - £206m

11/12 - £224m

12/13 - £241m

13/14 - £267m

at September 2014 - £283m

You would think that having large Reserves means you would get some interest on that to ‘soften the blow’ of savings; in fact Council policy states precisely that. You would be wrong.

These Reserves are kept almost entirely in the Debt Management Office (very safe but can be accessed quickly), whose return on investments is .25%pa. Given that inflation has been cc2.5%, the loss on say £100m of these Reserves (the sum the Council states they have not earmarked for capital projects) is cc£4-5m/yr. So we are actually LOSING money. If that £100m was invested, we could GAIN cc£4-5m/yr. So you could say that we are forgoing cc£10m/yr.

Now let’s look at some of the Council’s PRIORITIES. In 2010/11 (election year) £4.2m was spent on an ‘efficiency dividend’ of £50 each to all registered for Council Tax. In 2013/14 (election year) £7.5m was spent on an ‘efficiency dividend’ of £100 each to all Council Tax PAYERS (ie not in receipt of Housing Benefit).

Here are some more ‘priorities’:

Opera Holland Park – underwriting loss of cc£1m/yr

Leighton House – this year alone £2.6m refurb costs

National Army Museum – ‘loan’ of £2.5m for refurb

Kens Academy artwork - £150k

Holland Park Ac artwork - £120k

 

In the past six years, the Council has spent an incredible £1m on Pre-Raphaelite art:

-      Clytie (lady in a nightie)

-      Cimabue’s Madonna ( lady in a nightie)

-      Nymphs in a Landscape (shockingly, ladies without nighties)

 

Now let’s look at ‘underspends’ in services, using 2013/14 as an example:

Adult Social Care                         £6.4m

Children’s Services                       £641k

Env Leisur and Res                       £2.3m

Housing                                      £638k

Libr, Arch, Heritage                     £238k

Planning, boro devt                      £1.6k

Transp & Techn                           £6.4m

Corp Servi                                  £3.8m

Adult, Family Learning                  £44k

 

As you can see for yourself, ‘tough decisions’ are in truth IDEOLOGICAL.

And people, if the Tories get into government again and are allowed to kick off their destructive ‘deficit balancing’ budget, make no mistake, people will die.

Which is why. given that RBKC is a microcosm of all that is very wrong in the country at present, we need to understand how our Tories in RBKC make their decisions, where the money is, and just how the process is driven by wrong-headedness, incompetence and ideology. 

 Emma Dent Coad is a  Labour Councillor for the Golborne Ward. She has her own blog at http://emmadentcoad.blogspot.com

 

Comments   

#2 86Sibyl 2017-08-12 16:49
I see you don't monetize your website, don't
waste your traffic, you can earn extra cash every month because you've got hi quality content.

If you want to know what is the best adsense alternative, search
in google: adsense alternative Mertiso's tips
#1 Anemonalove 2017-07-11 20:11
Hi guys! Who wants to meet me? I'm live at HotBabesCams.com, we can chat, you can watch me live for
free, my nickname is Anemonalove , here is my pic:

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-u5pGYuGNsSo/WVixiO8RBUI/AAAAAAAAAFA/JWa2LHHFI2AkHParQa3fwwHhVijolmq8QCLcBGAs/s1600/hottest%2Bwebcam%2Bgirl%2B-%2BAnemonalove.jpg

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

More News

Prev Next

Hits:2495

Portobello Radio Ep 42, with Chris Sullivan & Piers Thompson: The End Is Nigh Special.

Portobello

 Piping hot from the USB, the latest episode in ...

Read more

Hits:2583

Two meetings, one voice

Two meeting…

You had to be there. North and south of the boro...

Read more

Hits:15166

New Site

New Site

We're back ;)   Read more: New Site...

Read more

Hits:2977

Corbyn Won Kensington Nomination

Corbyn Won …

On July 21st Jeremy Corbyn overwhelmingly won th...

Read more

Hits:3802

Hats-off to Micky P: Portobello Live 3rd/4th May

Hats-off to…

Reflecting on the Portobello Live Festival - by ...

Read more

Hits:4527

Portobello community stands up against plans to turn iconic area into bland shopping centre

Portobello

Hundreds of protestors, including children and p...

Read more

More News 2

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

Hits:5611

Greferendum: an anthology

Greferendum…

Thinking of Greece. ...

Read more

Hits:3250

Pink Cigar video release

Pink Cigar …

 Local down’n’dirty rock’n’roll outfit Pink Ciga...

Read more

Hits:5087

Gaz’s Rockin Blues 35th Anniversary Spectacular

Gaz’s Rocki…

Gaz’s Rockin Blues 35th Anniversary Spectacular ...

Read more

Hits:3914

Interactive Video Art at The Dissenters Gallery Catacombs

Interactive…

On Saturday 4 July, 11-5pm, a chance to see the ...

Read more

Hits:3260

"Exposed" a Solo Show by Louis-Nicholas Darbon

"Expos…

 Coming up Thursday- June 4th -  at the Graffik ...

Read more

Hits:3307

Mock The Opera Protest @ Holland Park

Mock The Op…

A protest is taking place tomorrow at the Hollan...

Read more

Hits:5424

Where next for Labour?

Where next …

 Labour’s defeat in the UK general election on M...

Read more

Hits:3273

Artists For Nepal – local benefit gig for Nepal

Artists For…

 Thursday May 21st at the Elgin with music, film...

Read more

Hits:3539

RED ALERT by Maximilian Wiedemann

RED ALERT b…

West Bank last exhibition at the current buildin...

Read more

LOCAL

Prev Next

Hits:2583

Two meetings, one voice

Two meeting…

You had to be there. North and south of the boro...

Read more

Hits:2977

Corbyn Won Kensington Nomination

Corbyn Won …

On July 21st Jeremy Corbyn overwhelmingly won th...

Read more

Hits:4527

Portobello community stands up against plans to turn iconic area into bland shopping centre

Portobello …

Hundreds of protestors, including children and p...

Read more

Hits:3307

Mock The Opera Protest @ Holland Park

Mock The Op…

A protest is taking place tomorrow at the Hollan...

Read more

Hits:3677

Here's my proposal. What’s yours?

Here's my p…

  Local resident Tristan Hazell has plans for t...

Read more

Hits:3950

Cheer up! A new and more expensive supermarket opened up on the Portobello Rd

Cheer up! A…

Same, same, same...  ...

Read more

Hits:4717

Westway Trust releases statement of intent on the Portobello Village proposal

Westway Tru…

Following the strength of feeling against the cu...

Read more

Hits:6666

Westway Trust (WT) unveils Portobello Village

Westway Tru…

The debate has started over the redevelopment of...

Read more

Hits:4037

Sir Malcolm in the Middle

Sir Malcolm…

 Kensington MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind has been susp...

Read more

Hits:4038

'SHAMBOLIC' -  RBKC confuses 'want' with 'need'

'SHAMBOLIC…

Following our short article by Tristan Hazel on ...

Read more

PEOPLE & PLACES

Prev Next

Hits:2477

Ostuni Queen's Park by M. Kuehn

Ostuni Que…

Having recently savoured the delights of the ver...

Read more

Hits:3802

Hats-off to Micky P: Portobello Live 3rd/4th May

Hats-off t…

Reflecting on the Portobello Live Festival - by ...

Read more

Hits:4427

Canal Deli food review

Canal Deli…

Canal deli - lovely people - scrumptious food or...

Read more

Hits:4359

Why hipster incursions into the KPH might not be a bad thing.

Why hipste…

I visited the KPH on Ladbroke Grove last evening...

Read more

Hits:3657

Source Mag Christmas treats IV

Source Mag…

Fine Bone China Tableware Upcycled Vintage Ceram...

Read more

Hits:4143

Source Mag Christmas treats III

Source Mag…

One of the kind hats, flowers, decorative hand c...

Read more

Hits:4166

Source Mag Christmas treats II

Source Mag…

Have you ever thought of offering a family docum...

Read more

Hits:3434

Source Mag Christmas treats I

Source Mag…

Coalition Colouring Book by Tom Pride. ...

Read more

Hits:4061

Want to get involved with online radio?

Want to ge…

K2K Radio wants to hear from you! ...

Read more

Hits:4482

Reflection on breaking barricades

Reflection…

From protesting with Anonymous to connecting wit...

Read more

Local Events Calendar

<<  October 2017  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
      
     

Upcoming Events

Social GK5

writers pic2

We're looking for writers! Join in! (scroll down the article)

Rants

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7

I don't do …

I don't do rants. But,

...it's a rant! ...

Read more

Last Night …

Last Night I Dreamt...

"I could see the body of Kim Kardashian..." ...

Read more

Portobello …

Portobello drinkers 'harassed' by children

  From our sports correspondent Dave 'the ...

Read more

Everyone’s …

Everyone’s a F*****g DJ

by Kensal Scream  At long last! Another salvo f...

Read more

Lap dogs …

Lap dogs & devil dogs - the final solution

By Kensal Scream Time for another rant by the K...

Read more

Trains and …

Trains and  lycra pants

 By Kensal Scream That Really Grinds my Gears i...

Read more

An e-mail f…

An e-mail from Billy Connolly?

We can not be sure that  it’s his but it co...

Read more

Your Experience

Real time web analytics, Heat map tracking

Login or Sign Up