Ealing Conservatives have revealed a rash of unfunded spending commitments, which would result in a Conservative administration having to increase council tax by 17%. When challenged by Labour cabinet member Cllr Bassam Mahfouz on what the Conservatives would do about the cuts that the Tory-led Central Government is forcing through Conservative Shadow member for finance Cllr Mark Reen emailed all Labour councillors a lengthy list of unfunded spending commitments.
Ealing Labour has costed the promises and found that they would result in a £20m black hole from the council’s revenue budget and an extra £15m being spent on the council’s capital programme. An itemised list is included below, but in essence it means an increase of 17% in the first year of a Conservative Administration. This is the equivalent of an extra £232 to be paid for households in the average home in the borough, many would be asked to pay more.
|Savings the Conservatives would not take||Revenue savings by 2014|
|Supporting People Saving||
|Opposition to bringing Ealing Homes in-house||
|Opposition to the efficiencies arising from the property strategy||
|CAHMS grant reductions||
|Day centre changes||
|New policing model||
|Envirocrime & Park rangers||
|Changes to Taxicards||
|Reductions to VCS grant funding||
|Charging nothing for Stirling Road site||
|Charity rate relief||
|Reduction in Early Intervention Grant||
|Changes to respite unit||
|10% Revenue cost of extra capital commitments||
Total = £20.441m revenue
Additional Capital Commitments
|Commitment to buy Acton Magistrates court as a community centre||
|Maintaining Street Resurfacing Programme||
|Maintain DFG budget at previous level||
Total = £15.05m capital
The Council is legally obliged to pass a balanced budget and so as result of the Tory-led Government’s cuts the council must make savings of £85 million by 2013/14. Therefore in order to balance the budget the Conservatives would have to raise council tax by 17% to fund their unrealistic spending spree.