Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Arnie's Back

Purest Green’ has been re-discovered or at least the Green party weblog has resurrected while its prodigal author, the literary inspiration behind Cllr Nottingham, waits on the deliberations of the Standards Committee; having arguably and allegedly plumbed the depths of tasteless comment over another lady councillor and landed himself in hot water as a consequence.

I should be flattered that the first thing the Shadow Member for Finance does on his literary renaissance is ‘have a pop’ at me and the new General Purposes Committee; the political equivalent of ‘stotting’ I assume? I find it amusing to receive a lecture from a member of any party that endorses the Sky Sports package as a valid Parliamentary expenses claim, (Gordon Brown) or whose second, second home secretary, expenses pornographic movies; by accident of course. Then of course there’s the Right Hon David McNulty MP, who lives with his parents and Mr Mandelson; well we won’t go there today!

Nothing to do with Thanet of course or even the new committee where Cllr Green writes:

“Only one item on the agenda "2009/10 pay negotiations proposals". What could this be that needs to be discussed in secret? Could it be the miserly 3% pay rise being offered to low paid Council staff, or could it be the increases that senior staff hope to gain from their recent "regrading" as Directors?”

So let’s pause for thought for a second. Is Labour, in the formidable shape of Comrade Cllr Green, in favour of public sector pay rises in the present financial turmoil or does he believe that the public sector should show some level of leadership and restraint; given that the private sector is cutting pay and lacks the same pension benefits to look forward to?

The new General Purposes Committee has a challenging task ahead of it and any decisions it may make in matters involving public sector negotiations, awards and salaries, are bound to be heavily scrutinised.

As a member of the Governance & Audit committee, I can tell readers that the attention to value for money and costs control is now a very high priority, not just here in Thanet but across the UK, given the almost catastrophic decline in revenues to local councils as a consequence of the growing recession. On a personal note, I believe we must be entirely pragmatic when we consider public sector pay and pensions and I would hope that the opposition party that bears the Lion’s share of responsibility for the mess the country is now in, would support the concept of a little fiscal prudence and pragmatism on a local basis.


Cllr. Mike Harrison said...

You will be voting against the proposals in this Agenda then?

Anonymous said...

More like 'giant haystacks' than arnie?

tony flaig bignews said...

I just hope that the talk of 3% is a joke us out here in real world are on the end of pay cuts no increases and no subsidised pensions.

KCC offered 1% thats generous in the current climate.