Tough times ahead

Now no one can be under any illusion that Cornwall Council faces a difficult few years. Its got to save £100 million over that period. The trick is how to do that without effecting services. We are told that we have made savings post the formation of the Unitary Council. But, you have to ask yourself where these extra savings will come from if we are indeed running a tight ship that has been previously claimed.

A figure of 2000 jobs to go has been banded about. Sure that is possible, but it’s not a certainty that number of jobs will indeed go. How can you cut jobs and it not effect services, or cut services and not affect jobs? No matter what is decided someone; something is going to be affected. 

The Government is undertaking a wholesale spending review, and that is not going to be completed until October. Until that has been completed we really don’t have definitive figures. Once those have been released Cornwall Council will then hold its own Budget to reflect those cuts and changes. A more important issue that needs to be address is the staff moral. With many rumours flying around it will be hard for people to be positive and not worry about their futures. Some may jump ship before, and with a recruiting freeze that could affect services too.

One things is for sure is that we must not say “we are doomed” like a certain Private Fraser would say in a tight spot. What we must do is to make sure what ever happens that we are still able to provide the service that people expect and require.


  • Anonymous

    "How can you cut jobs and it not effect services, or cut services and not affect jobs"

    Efficiency is how industry does it. An attitude change is required by a lot of people who work in the public sector, changing their attitude so that they get away from the mind set that:

    * believing a busy day in meetings is "work"
    * getting away from the attitude that sick days are an entitlement
    * understanding that bonuses are for achivements well beyond that salaried for and are not to be paid just for doing your job
    * and sacking the under achievers rather than giving them chance after chance after chance.

    Just a starter for 10 and pretty broadbrush, I know that not all, or possibly even most, will be categorised by any of the above but there is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest that a large amount of our tax money goes to paying for inefficiency.

  • Anonymous


    There is no tight ship and unfortunately no councillor is asking the difficult questions of the chief executive – at least not in public!

  • Anonymous

    A suggestion

    why dont you run a quick straw poll and identify changes that have been made in the council in the last twenty years. Look at what departments have balooned and why, do you need 50-100 people in HR (dont know the actual numbers) if you managed with 20 people 20 years ago. If a department has balooned then what do you get extra for the moeny and is the increase in benefit worth the increase in cost.

    Look at jobs that used to be done by one person that are now done by a department – ask why.

    As the chap above said – someone has to ask the difficult questions and that someone will prob become very unpopular in some quarters – make a stand Andrew…..

  • Cllr Andrew Wallis

    Have no fear about me not asking the difficult questions. The point is will I get a straight answer to it! Still I will still ask those difficult questions.

  • Anonymous

    The first question is surely just one of statistics

    Howmany did we have in HR ion 1990, howmany today.

    The same question re other departments

    Also how much did we spend on outsourcing (say) grass cutting (verges etc.) in 1990 and how much today.

    I think the increase in cost (way above inflation) and the increase in staffing for different departments will be quite telling. This will be particularly relevant for those departments that provide support functions – HR, accounts, diversity (oh how I hate that term).

    Ask HR to compile a list of those people who regularly take all of their sick "entitlement", look at attendance records and see how often a sick day is on the same day every year – people really are that stupid.

    Some formal feedback via the blog would be great, i.e. what you asked, where and to who and what the response was.

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