1,800 people are losing their jobs at Cumbria County Council.
But as one lot of staff are signing on, the hierarchy in charge will be swivelling about on ergonomic chairs in their new £10.2 million shiny offices that they’ve just ordered for themselves in Carlisle.
If this was a private company getting rid of so many staff, people would be taking to the streets with pitchforks. So far, just a handful of union members have held polite demos.
The key here is that large employers are few and far between in Cumbria. 1,800 jobs is almost equal to the whole of Barrow shipyard being given its cards. Cumbria isn’t a county where this number of jobs comes along regularly.
The political masters sharing the driving seat at the county council are a Labour and Lib Dem coalition, so-called friends of the common man and woman.
They claim the job losses are all down to national cuts from the big, bad Tories (election coming anyone?).
Despite claiming penury, this orange coalition managed to scrape together a cool £44,000 to hand over to a bunch of London consultants to write a 46-page report. Here’s the link to it.
The report ponders whether Cumbria needs to scrap all its councils (seven excl the national park) and go for one or two councils to save public money. The flimsy conclusion suggests looking into the issue a bit deeper.
(Another expensive report perhaps?)
One independent councillor reckons that if we ever needed proof Cumbria needs a single council (called a unitary), then it’s irresponsible spending like this.
Oh, PS: You’re council tax is going up too.
Now Here Comes The Defence…