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'I don't believe Cameron is a nasty, evil man. He just doesn't understand'

From libraries to lollipop men: Mayor weilds budget axe on city with too few posh houses to pay its way

Published on February 6th 2014.


'I don't believe Cameron is a nasty, evil man. He just doesn't understand'

IN excess of 300 Town Hall job losses, cuts of up to 50 percent on average in each of the directorate budgets. That’s the doomsday message from Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson as he grapples with working out his spending budget for the coming year.

Mayor Anderson will get the blame for doing to dirty work of Cameron, Osborne and Pickles, the gang of three heaping financial misery on Liverpool

Many libraries will issue their last books, day centres for adults will be cut, a significant number of council-run children’s centres will also go. School lollipop men and women will go – unless schools themselves pay their wages.

When Mayor Anderson walks from his Dale Street office to the Town Hall on March 5 to seek approval for his three-year savings plan, he can expect to run a very vocal and angry gauntlet.

He will get the blame for doing to dirty work of Cameron, Osborne and Pickles, the gang of three heaping financial misery on Liverpool.

Yet, at a briefing to explain how he intends to balance the books, the Mayor had this to say: “I don’t believe David Cameron is a nasty evil man. He just doesn’t understand.”

So what is it that the Prime Minister doesn’t understand, and why is Liverpool suffering from Government spending cuts more than any other local council in Coalition England?

The amount of money handed to each council by the Government each year is determined by an historic funding formula. More than 75 percent of the money spent by the council comes from Westminster. Some UK councils receive hardly anything – because they raise enough money through their Council Tax.

But in Liverpool less than 10 percent of its budget is raised by the Council Tax.

Behind the complicated mathematics, Liverpool suffers worse because it has more houses in the lowest band A group than anywhere else. On average in England, fewer than a quarter of properties fall into band A. In Liverpool it is almost 61 percent.  It is a similar story in bands B, C and D.

In a nutshell, there just aren’t enough posh houses and penthouse flats in Liverpool to boost the increasingly bare Town Hall coffers.

In Liverpool just 2.3 percent of houses are in band E (larger semis or detaches houses), compared to an England average of almost 10 percent. The variation continues until the highest banded property – H – with just 120 owners of the big posh houses in the city paying the top whack.

There are 200,000 houses, flats and bungalows in the city, a land of far too many “Coronation Street” type properties– around 122,000 terraced houses and small flats in the cheapest band.

If the council was to fund its services through the Council Tax alone there would have to be 1.5m of these terraced street houses in the city.

So when the Government turns off the funding tap, the inevitability is Liverpool is the first to suffer from a crippling financial thirst.

When David Cameron took over the tenancy of 10 Downing Street in 2010, Liverpool received almost £515m from Whitehall. The figure has fallen every year and by 2016/17 will be £273m.

When inflation is factored in, it represents a massive drop of more than half of what it used to be.

The council can’t put the Council Tax up, apart from a fraction, and even if the money raised by parking charges, fixed penalty notices and other income increases, it won’t even make a dent into the black hole.

The talk is Chancellor George Osborne will force councils to have a referendum if they want to increase the council charge by more than 1.5 percent, and there will be an upper cap anyway to outlaw massive rises.

And this is why Liverpool is in a pickle.  A rise of just under 1.5 percent would only raise around £1.5m, and Mayor Anderson in the coming year is staring at a government cut to the city of £45m in 2014/15. In 2016 the cut will be £63m and in 2017 a reduction of £48m.

You don’t have to be”good at sums” to realise it just adds up to three years of misery, and in many cases heartache for the people of Liverpool.

Despite the gloom and doom, Mayor Anderson insists the best years for the city are yet to come. But that won’t happen during the reign of David Cameron.


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11 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Paul WardFebruary 7th 2014.

The Mayor has found a surprisingly tactful way of calling Cameron an evil, vindictive [insert Anglo Saxon word here, yes, that one]

AnonymousFebruary 7th 2014.

I don't believe Joe Anderson is a nasty evil man, he just doesn't understand that people are puzzled why, in the light of these savage cuts, he continues to pay Liverpool Direct possibly in excess of £80million a year without any transparency in a contract that was shown to be completely ripping off the city, where executive directors were being paid twice, once by Liverpool and once by Lancaster with over half a million paychecque for six months work on top of their Liverpool salary. Lancaster seem to have had the sense to kick these money grabbers into touch but Liverpool seems content to keep handing them amounts of cash greater than the government imposed cuts. No wonder Cameron doesn't understand, neither does anyone else. Perhaps one day Mayor Anderson would care to explain why, after being so vocal against Liverpool Direct and the great rip off of hiking up prices, in comparison to the high street, overcharging us by £10million a year for at least 7 years, refusing to provide open accounts and conning us into buying their equipment and services, never earning us a penny in their external contracts, in which the council is supposed to be a joint venture partner, exactly why he refuses to even discuss the situation in relation to the cutbacks. What is more important? The welfare of the vulnerable citizens of the city and the services that are the mark of a civilised community or BTs profit margin?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Katie54February 8th 2014.

Clearly, BT's profits are far more important (to be accurate, its LDL-generated revenue, since that's what the bonuses of McElhinney, Kavanaugh and the rest of the LDL management team are actually based on. And they've got to make up for losing their Lancashire earnings, haven't they?). And after Lancashire blew up, Anderson appointed McElhinney as some sort of advisor on the budget cuts. He's hardly likely to propose cuts to LDL, is he?

Paul FosterFebruary 7th 2014.

“I don’t believe David Cameron is a nasty evil man. He just doesn’t understand.” Could have fooled me, Joe!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 8th 2014.

Can't be too mean about Mr Cameron, you have to keep one eye on the honours list....Lord Anderson sitting with Lord Storey chatting about old times adjusting their ermine underpants

AnonymousFebruary 8th 2014.

Enjoying a Peroni....

SaladDazeFebruary 7th 2014.

Mr Cameron is like King Cnut trying to turn back the tide and mis-spelling.

AnonymousFebruary 7th 2014.

Cameron is a twat that's a given, but Joe Anderson is wasting money lighting up that Tower in Everton. Also Edge Lane and the flyover by the Rocket are lit up like a Christmas tree. Plus there was 50 million spent on Central Library when all it needed was a lick of paint instead of a make over to turn it into an airport.

Emma BFebruary 9th 2014.

Liverpool wouldn't have 60% in Band A if revaluations had occurred. We don't have most properties worth below £40k. In Anfield and Norris Green they're £80k-£110k!

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyFebruary 9th 2014.

You are assuming that the bands stay the same.

AnonymousMarch 12th 2014.

The trouble with Cameron is he doesn't understand how the ordinary person has to juggle the everyday expenses he hasn't a clue about life & he's so arrogant and should learn how to listen to people he thinks he can dismiss people with his so called answers but he really just gets one so annoyed with his egotistical answers I Shiuldnt hate him but I wish he'd go away I feel sick because He doesn't understand even the Mayor of Liverpool has to Bute his tongue. Etc etc.

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