Monday, 11 November 2013

False Impressions From Impact

As you probably know Impact is the alternative, and SU backed newspaper, to the Tab, which I write for. The recent Impact news piece I saw on 'Government Austerity Cuts Challenged By Nottingham City Council' was I thought substandard and obviously biased so I thought it was best to counter it.

So what is impact arguing in it's news piece? Essentially the news article was reporting on how massive the cuts are for Nottingham City and how they're effecting front line services and leading to more than 750 job losses. This was done by presenting one fact on government cuts and by quoting the council leader of Nottingham City Council and Labour activists Impact. As an example of the argument the leader of Nottingham Council said to provide funding was essential for “those valuable services, but also stimulate our local economy, support businesses, create jobs and improve education, skills and training opportunities.”

Rumour has it Nottingham City Council wanted to sue me for using their logo, just to be safe I use this image now.

Firstly I doubt that the mix of only Labour voices on the idea of government cuts is a good idea for a news piece. It is especially important to note that Nottingham City Labour Council is one of the most Left wing in the country. Do you remember the fact that they refused, until they were forced to last year, to sign up to the government legislation declaring all council spending above £500 for transparency. Transparency and value for money was described as 'vexatious' by Nottingham City Council.

Do you also remember these posters around Nottingham last year (see below). Yes posters that seek to try and divide the well dressed people of Windsor to the plain clothed people of Nottingham. There is a reason why Nottingham is receiving more cuts per person than Windsor and that is because under the last government they unfairly had one of the highest budgets per person of any council in the UK. These posters were called in the Guardian "lazy, socialist propaganda".

But also on the point on money saving and cuts why is the City Council wasting money on getting people to complain about government cuts.  The cost of these posters were over £3,000 (not including the website to complain to); surely this money should by spent on you know looking after Nottingham people and protecting them from 'evil Tory' cuts. And this is not a one off poster either because campaigns like this have occurred since 2010 on cuts in general, welfare changes and the removal of the spare bedroom subsidy (which the City Council call 'the bedroom tax' despite it not being a tax).

More wasteful cuts posters.

There is of course more waste that could be exposed about Nottingham City Council. I haven't mentioned the workplace parking levy which drives business (and rates money) from the city centre and loses money overall. I haven't mentioned the trams that lose millions of pounds a year. I haven't mentioned that Nottingham councillors get paid almost £11,500 in allowances when back in Cambridgeshire, where I am from, County Councillors only get £3,000. Everything Nottingham City Council seem to do is very wasteful. Perhaps they should start looking at these things before complaining they need to make cuts to front line services and the elderly. I think they would find a lot of money to pay for the front line if they made savings.

The Nottingham Tram has always lost millions of pounds and has falling passenger numbers. Should the money be spent elsewhere?

And this wastefulness is seen in the back office most of all. On the same day the council announced to axe school buses costing £1.69 million they planned to raise salaries of office staff (mostly at the upper middle to high level) by £1.36 million.

Also despite people more than 750 people probably being layed off next year Nottingham City Council seems to be on a recruitment offensive. The ruling Labour Party have said in recent election literature that 'Nottingham Labour helped 1500 people into jobs last year, created 400 Nottingham jobs funded placements and filled 500 apprenticeships'. This seems like the council actually being rather disingenuous as its actually employing more people than its getting rid of. Also with these 750 lost jobs, surely, if the people are still needed, stopping a wage increase would be better than making people redundant. Making people redundant when you're increasing wages for others in a council is wrong.

The ruling Labour Party are claiming to create jobs and not to be cutting them.

So there you are not a council stretched to the limit and unable to do basic things but a wasteful council that cuts the front line and is employing more people than ever. The facts are a bit different from the Impact story. The only way that the Impact story would make any sense is if you believed no cuts should ever take place. A position that is laughable to the public with all the economic problems we have. I do suggest Impact add more facts especially from the alternate side to their articles. You can take some from here if you like as an act of goodwill.


Some basic errors have been made by Impact and they actually meant Nottinghamshire County Council rather than Nottingham City Council in their news piece. #Doh.

What a terrible error that has led to much confusion. Still at least it is sorted now, although I think views from the Opposition of Notts County Council would have made for a better news piece.

All my points still stand about how awful Nottingham City Council is. A wasteful and terribly bureaucratic monster which is cutting front line services but boosting the back office. As I say about the County Council I am not in the know enough to write a piece on them without massive research; but from what I have heard and the small amount of facts I do know Nottinghamshire Labour and Nottingham Labour are cut from similar cloth.

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