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Showing posts with the label local councils

All Change for the Council Elections

Capitalism is well past its sell-by date, and can now be replaced by its alternative: a wageless, moneyless, classless world community based on production for human need, not profit. This change can only come about once the majority understand it and want it. It won't come about by following leaders or voting for someone else to do it.

The world can now easily produce wealth sufficient to adequately house, feed, care for and educate the global population. Instead, we see hunger, disease and homelessness around the world despite the concerns of governments, charities and show-biz stars. Closer to home, in a "developed" nation like the UK, we see child poverty and an increasing gulf between rich and poor. Rates of depression and anxiety are becoming epidemic.

Capitalism is failing: it now acts as a barrier, preventing production being geared to human need. Rather than keep trying to tinker with this system we should start looking beyond it to an alternative: a wageless, mon…

Local Issues or Class Issues

When Scotland goes to the polls next week in the 2012 local council elections, voters may be confused about whether they are deciding on local or national issues. In some cases the electorate is being asked to vote on manifesto promises that can’t in fact be delivered locally declares the Public Finance web-site. Each of the political party manifestos for the local elections contain a mix of local pledges (not unexpected in local elections) but also pledges that can, in fact, only be made by a national government.  The most extreme example of this is a pledge to cut VAT – clearly a reserved matter with no powers in Scotland at any government level to do so.

What is important to recognise is that those so-called “local” issues that are high on the agenda of many in the local elections (such as the NHS, local housing and transport) are pressing issues everywhere else. But these are not really local issues after all. Its just that many people (and all of our opponents) think the soluti…

Snouts in the trough

One-third of Scotland’s “double-jobbing” MSPs are continuing to collect salaries from council jobs, four months after being elected to £58,000-a-year posts at Holyrood.

Unions have criticised those still collecting the salaries, which comes at a time of unprecedented redundancies and reductions in workers’ terms and conditions.

Martin Doran, who heads the GMB union in Glasgow, said:“...my feeling is that this is an obscenity. If these people had any decency they would stand down.”

that's clever!

Inverclyde Council spent £650,000 in order to make savings of just £250,000.

Four senior local government officials, all of whom receive salaries of between £75,000 and £105,000, have been suspended after paying consultants hundreds of thousands of pounds to deliver savings that failed to materialise.

Meanwhile, in Edinburgh the city’s new chief executive has said thedisaster-hit trams project must go ahead because too much money has been spent to cancel it.

election address

What’s the alternative to the profit system?

That's the issue in this election, says THE SOCIALIST PARTY candidate in Lambeth and Southwark Danny Lambert.

On 1 May, you will have your occasional ration of democracy with the opportunity to vote for the Mayor of London and the Greater London Assembly.

It's all very well having a vote but are you normally given any real choice? Let's face it, if it wasn't mentioned on the front of the election leaflet, could you tell which party was which?

It's tempting – in the absence of any real alternative – to get drawn into the phoney war that is political debate today. Whether Labour, Tory, Lib Dem, Greens or the others, they all spout empty promises. And it all amounts to the same thing – vote, vote for us and we’ll do this, this or this for you. As if they could.

None of them offer any alternative to the present way of running society. That’s why they always fail to deliver. The profit system requires them to put profits before pe…

Council Leaders Fat Cats

The number of "fat cat" council bosses being paid more than £100,000 a year has risen by 25%, new figures show.

A town hall "rich list" revealed that 818 local authority bosses now earn more than £100,000. In 2005-06 it was 645.

The average pay package for those on the list was more than £120,000 - nearly five times the starting wage of a police constable. Fourteen earned more than the prime minister's £188,000 annual salary, while six received more than £200,000 from the public purse.

Despite Gordon Brown's demand for an inflation-guarding 2% cap on public sector wage settlements, top council bosses enjoyed an average rise of 4.6% - more than double that of last year.

"Too often, council executives are rewarded handsomely even when they fail," said the chief executive of the pressure group TaxPayers' Alliance .

The top 10 best-paid council officials, 2006-07
1. Northamptonshire: Peter Gould, chief executive, £215,000
2. City of Kingston-upon-Hull: …