Credit where it’s due

Macclesfield Express - - BARLOW’S BRIEF -

NO one could ac­cuse me of be­ing soft on Cheshire east coun­cil. (I’m told some coun­cil­lors get up an hour early each day so they can curse me for longer.)

But, hey, you have to give credit where it’s due and freez­ing coun­cil tax for the fifth con­sec­u­tive year is some achieve­ment.

Did ser­vices suf­fer? Well there are cer­tainly some ‘ser­vices’ that have suf­fered for decades (men­tal health be­ing one) but I can’t hon­estly say ser­vices are worse now than they were when coun­cil taxes rose each year like snow­drops.

I don’t be­lieve the only an­swer to im­proved pub­lic ser­vices is more fund­ing.

I’ve wit­nessed too much wan­ton waste and bad prac­tice to be con­vinced of that the­ory.

Almost ev­ery IT project gov­ern­ment de­part­ments at­tempt is an un­mit­i­gated fi­nan­cial dis­as­ter.

One dis­tin­guished hos­pi­tal con­sul­tant told me cash gush­ing into the NHS at the tap end is re­duced to a trickle by the time it reaches the noz­zle.

You only have to look at the lay­ers of man­age­ment to un­der­stand that truth but chang­ing the cul­ture of pub­lic ser­vices is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult.

If CEC can, as they claim, ‘re­duce man­age­ment by a third,’ freeze coun­cil tax for five con­sec­u­tive years and still per­form, then a lot of hard-pressed tax­pay­ers will be ex­tremely grate­ful.

I’m one of them.

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