Wednesday, February 28, 2007

All the timings that matter from the budget "debate"

Yesterday was budget day in full council (as well as being my maiden platform speech).
I use the term debate loosely in the title, as it turned into little more than a farcical display of tribal politics of the worst kind.
The council leader rose to speak at 1730hrs.
The deputy leader rose at 1805hrs.
Then the opposition leader rose at 1822hrs. His first mention of budget was at 1852hrs. His first mention of his amendment was at about 1915hrs. He sat down at 1934hrs.
That left about 26 minutes for all other contributions, and the summation.
At the end of the day, the Labour amendment only had an impact on 0.1% of the total budget. They could have achieved it with an increase to the Council Tax of 1% (ie a 2.9%), but instead took it from contingencies set aside to pay for implementing Single Status (equal pay for work of equal value).
They then failed to support the below inflation rise of only 1.9%.
I gather that next year unlimited time speeches by the leaders will be scrapped in favour of something closer to 30 minutes. What was also interesting to note was that the local press didn't even bother to stay on to provide accurate reportage of the most important decision of the year. Had someone tipped them off that Sir Albert would still be going 2 hrs after the "debate" started?


At 5:08 pm, Blogger Unknown said...

At risk of appearing partisan myself, isn't this behaviour following a pattern? From the Iraq walk-out (whilst the Labour PM doesn't attend Iraq debates in Parliament), to the mayoral non-issue to street posters, the Labour grouping seem to be opposing for opposing sake. Maybe, I'm missing something, but from what I hear they need to grow up.


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