Since taking up the reins as the leader of RCT Council Andrew Morgan has been keen to tell the public that he wants to hear all their ideas on how the Council can bridge the budget gap it faces.
Today a "survey" has been launched on the Council website - here.
The so called survey consists of 4 questions:
Please tell us the service area in which you believe savings could be made (if known):
How could savings be made in this area? (please provide as much detail as possible):
Please tell us the service area in which you believe income could be generated (if known):
How do you think income could be generated in this area? (please provide as much detail as possible):
Now whilst public engagement is to be welcomed then it needs to be meaningful. What exactly is it that Cllr Morgan hopes to get out of this? We can probably predict right now what the majority of responses will say.
Cut the number of Councillors and their massive wages! This is a common theme from many who seem convinced that if Councillors weren't paid then they would somehow be so much better at what they do. Now whilst we agree there are savings to be made by cutting the number of Councillors across the country then it is not something RCT can do alone.
Stop producing the "Outlook" magazine. This is an idea we can fully back as we have said for a very long time it is nothing but a propaganda rag for the Labour party. However, what happens if a substantial number of people come up with that idea? Will they scrap it? If not then this survey really is meaningless.
As for expecting the public to give detailed responses with regard to savings in specific service areas - as we have said previously how can they be expected to do that when not even Councillors are being given the full breakdown of spend within the Council?
Cllr Morgan was given ideas by the public during the consultation on phase 1 and 2 cuts. Does he really expect anything different to come back from this? Or is it yet another attempt to try and convince the public that they really are willing to listen? So far there has been little evidence of that - they were taken to court over their nursery education decision and only backed down at the very last minute over Rhydyfelin library. Both decisions will no doubt be looked at again and there have been a number of indications which suggest they will push ahead with the nursery cuts.
A cynical view possibly, but one which will no doubt be shared by many residents who have seen the actions of this Labour Council in recent years.