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RCTCBC's poor planning and money wasting

Below was posted on Twitter just how much more money are they wasting it's your money and the council tax is going up again

RCTCBC's poor planning and money wasting
As the media reports that RCTCBC is about to increase financial pressure on all households in the county by raising council tax by an eye watering 4.5% (£41 per annum), it is worth investigating how RCTCBC have wasted money in many departments over the past few years. Against a backdrop of the Labour Cabinet making the most savage cuts in history by “top-slicing” (a word with as much meaning as blue sky thinking) vital public services and being rushed through with what appears to be very little research or , the question must be asked, why did RCT not react and change their approach years ago?

The first sign that Local Government was going to face monetary restrictions was the dawn of the “credit crunch" in 2008. Financial crises of the 2008 magnitude often have a ripple effect that goes through the Financial sector, then the rest of the Private sector and on to Public and Third Sectors. By April 2009 English Councils were already making significant cuts to their budgets as the then Labour Government slashed the Local Government budget. However Welsh Authorities were protected by WAG, however councils such as RCT should have been preparing for the worst at that time. Instead of being able to plan and implement innovative ways of creating savings, improving managerial and employee accountability and sparing the most vulnerable in our society, RCT decided to continue to knowingly wasting taxpayers’ money, clinging to the hope that the Labour controlled WAG would forever protect them. However, as the public knew all too well, this was never going to be the case.

Let’s have a look at some brief examples of how Cabinet members and senior officials have been allowed to approve decisions that have cost the council’s budget dearly:

Ty Elai – This building was rented from 2003-2008 at a cost of £500,000 per annum and purchased in 2008 for £6m with an overall cost of £7.5m. However in 04/05 they council were offered to option to purchase the premises for £2-£3m. A waste of £4.5-£5.5m of the public's money.

Afon House – This building has been empty since January 2013, but the council have still been paying the £30k+ rent.

Has any investigation been undertaken as to how this slew of money was wasted? No.

Has anyone been held accountable and suitably disciplined or dismissed? No.

RCTCBC is awash with never ending projects that are costing millions of pounds a year to rumble on. A prime example is within Social Services. Their current IT system was due to be fully replaced by ICS (Children’s’ Services) and UAP (Adult Services), which had been developed in a consortium with 5 other authorities, by 2007/08. However, while all of the other authorities have completed the project, RCT still only rolled out about 25% of the system to use. The council is still supplementing an entire section (about £500k p/a) to apparently not move this misfire of a project forward. The council also pay around £150k to the South Wales Consortium for support and development, despite using a miniscule amount of the systems.
Has any investigation been undertaken as to how this slew of money was wasted? No.
Has anyone been held accountable and suitably disciplined or dismissed? No.

RCTCBC and the Labour cabinet have been allowed to run our council into financial ruin and while the examples provided prove a great level of incompetence and a culture of failure, the only people to be penalised are you and me. The future for our county seems very bleak, even with the proposed merger with Merthyr Tydfil CBC.

The council needs to be radically changed from the top down and bottom up. In any other sector the waste accumulated would have resulted in disciplinary proceedings and initiation of capability measures, but RCTCBC don’t have the leadership to reform the culture and make employees and the Cabinet more accountable for their failures.

The Labour Cabinet will blame Westminster and the Bankers for the cuts they are imposing, but the sad reality is that if it had not been for such reckless financial management and poor decision-making the public would not be paying for the Cabinets' and Senior Officers' mistakes.

The voting public too are not without blame, we as a collective voted these representatives into their positions. However, we can show them what we think of their performance, by voting them out. Next time you are at the polling station deciding where to place your X, just ask yourself - "What has Labour ever done for me?"