Even with the change in political control there are further substantial savings already set up – for instance with reduced spending on debt interest and cutting management costs through tri-borough and bi-borough arrangements.
In some areas though there are more savings to be made. One modest example is on the council’s membership subscriptions. A response to a request I made shows that it all comes to £389,596 a year.
Some of the larger items – such as £26,577 to the Local Government Association and £162,427 to London Councils I know to be a complete waste of money.
It is highly likely that many of the smaller sums to assorted special interest groups are also of dubious merit.
Then there is £177,505 to the “London Boroughs Grant Scheme”. This goes into a general £9 million soup of spending by all the 32 London boroughs.
Again much of the money spent by this scheme is wasted. For instance £650,000 goes to Shelter – a lobbying outfit who don’t provide any housing for anyone. Plus another £173,759 for Stonewall Housing – to which the same point applies. Another £304,000 goes to the Women’s Resource Centre – which again seems to be more about lobbying than providing practical services.
Wouldn’t that £177,505 be better spent on local voluntary groups that actually provide practical benefits to local people – including the homeless and women suffering from domestic violence?
Any cuts in spending on local voluntary groups by Hammersmith and Fulham Council will have to be justified by the Labour Party as to why this spending on London wide lobby groups is being continued instead. Why is it a higher priority?
There were two missed off the original list I was given:
LEDNET (London Environment Directors Network) – £1,500 p.a.
London Parks and Green Spaces Forum – £1,500 p.a.