The email below was received yesterday in response to a question asked some time ago by a local taxpayer whose children are no longer in the school system.
So, if the only shortfall in funding is £30M (ie that which has been planned for without any detailed costings), Council Tax is set rise by 3.6% until capital receipts or cost savings had been obtained in order to reduce it again.
Three obvious points arise here:
1. They haven’t done any detailed costings, so how do they know that our maximum borrowing will be £30M. For goodness sake, this is like us as taxpayers writing a blank cheque to cover a reorganisation that doesn’t need to happen!
2. Capital receipts? BSF projects have been roundly criticised by independent watchdogs for going over budget, employing too many consultants, and taking too long to deliver…capital receipts (should they be realised) will be swallowed up by these extra, hidden and unforeseen costs.
3. Cost savings? Oh, they mean job cuts for both teachers and support staff.
They also think they are going to cherry pick the “best” teachers and support staff. Well, the news on that is that in any reorganisation SMS has heard of or been involved with, the “best” staff up and leave because they are eminently employable elsewhere. Sounds like a good plan then…not.
So, a message for local taxpayers even if you don’t have children in the system…TAKE ACTION to stop this damaging YOUR pocket.
From: School Organisation Consultations
Sent: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 8:25 AM
Subject: RE: Questions on Consultation to 2 Tier
Thank you for your question concerning the potential cost of creating primary schools if the Council decides to move to a two tier system, and apologies for the delay in responding.
The worst case scenario stated of £30m would require the Council to borrow under the Prudential Borrowing regime – this allows Council’s to borrow to fund capital investment. If the cost of borrowing was funded by Council Tax this would equate to a 3.6% increase in the level of Council Tax. This could, however, be offset by any savings which arise as a result of the School Organisation Review.
BSF Project Officer