Article after article by Swindon Borough Council leader David Renard drives home the message that Swindon Borough Council ‘has had no choice’ but to outsource leisure facilities, close Children’s Centres, transfer services to parishes and abandon funding libraries save for the central library in the town centre.
According to the Financial Times IDS’s “central concern” is that
“…the Chancellor’s commitment to running a fiscal surplus is a self-imposed political decision that it would not be in the national economic interest to deliver at any cost. This accusation is difficult to refute.”
The FT had previously denounced this surplus target as unnecessary and “extreme”.
If the rapid withdrawal of the tax credit proposals last year, and the PIP cuts now, was possible as a result of the government being put under pressure, then why not mobilise pressure against the £6 billion cuts which are being imposed on local government and causing such damage? As I pointed out to the Cabinet if the Chancellor’s target was break-even rather than the £10 billion surplus then the local government cuts would not be necessary. None of the measures which Swindon’s ruling group is proposing would be necessary.
If the opposition within the Tory Party to PIP cuts does not give Swindon’s Tory administration the courage to abandon its supine position then what will? Do they really want to go down in history as ‘the wreckers’, in the words of a recent Swindon Advertiser editorial? Did they really enter local government in order to destroy services?