I am not clear what is happening in Redbridge, but I must ask if the officers and councillors actually have any professional competence. For example, we seem to have proposed budget cuts in both school and disability transport, but the various officers have not written a jointly researched and argued proposal with detailed equality audit.
It makes me wonder if the council is aware of ideas like holistic government, whole system thinking, institutionalisation and silos.
When a business is faced by the extremely significant challenges LB Redbridge is facing it is often wise to look carefully at what is happening elsewhere and ask if some of those ideas may be of value.
I understand a budget is intended to implement a business plan and to provide a check of an organisation’s direction of travel. It is a consequence of a well thought out strategy.
Many of these suggestions cannot be implemented quickly but by starting in these directions of travel, the supertanker can be turned.
Other Boroughs and authorities in London and elsewhere are merging, sharing services and other permutations.
Services are being merged, for example Adult and Children’s Social Services.
Around the world, complete redesign of health and social services on community health worker and related models is occurring. Bill Gates is a very strong supporter of these models that actually do work anywhere, not just the developing world.
There are many similar ideas.
Actual Economic costs
It is not obvious that all services have been properly economically costed for and being charged for. Various surveys from around the world are showing for example the serious waste of land that occurs with poor use of space for car parking. This is land that can be developed for housing and business at far higher densities. This is happening In Redbridge with Crossrail, but it is not obvious that these changes are being integrated into Redbridge’s strategic and financial planning.
There are two core vectors to this – sustainability and inclusion. The term triple bottom line accounting is one of the ways to express this, but following the Paris Climate Change agreement, how does the proposed Budget assist Redbridge for example with moving to minimising the burning of fossil fuels?
Next to this, have all possible sources of income to help meet the needs of our local commonwealth actually been explored?