Author Topic: No Hiding Bluh's Budget Black Hole Now - £92 Million In The Red and £16M Gap  (Read 9987 times)

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Offline Muggins

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Might not be Penhill, I took a photo from her last week and could not figure out how I managed to get Seagry Court in it, (as I was stood next to it when taking the photo) until I realised it was the David Murray John building, would share but can't figure out how to get my pics downs to 400kb.

I'm well aware of a bit of prime develop land up here, so I'm taking as many photo's as I can of the amazing view we have from it, that we won't get afterwards. been preserved thus far because of its landscape escarpment value, but as we know the only value land has these days is how much development can be stuffed on to it.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Mickraker

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BBC Wiltshire radio this morning GMB union official on air pointing out that Swindon debt did not exist Pre Rod it was in credit. Rod admitted it was £ 6million in credit, because Labour never spent anything on anything.  :santa_undecided:
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Offline Simon

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would share but can't figure out how to get my pics downs to 400kb.


This is what I use: http://www.fookes.com/ezthumbs/

Free to download and easy to use, just tell it the maximum width and height you want to aim for, point it at a folder, and it can resize all the photos in that folder in one go.
We are all in this together, but some of us are more in it than others (with apologies to George Orwell)

Offline Geoff Reid

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BBC Wiltshire radio this morning GMB union official on air pointing out that Swindon debt did not exist Pre Rod it was in credit. Rod admitted it was £ 6million in credit, because Labour never spent anything on anything.  :santa_undecided:



Todays Adver reports on the yawning abyss of Bluh's Budget Black Hole - £75,800,000 borrowed from the public works loan board and £35,000,000 from 'the market' and, if that weren't immensely depressing in its own right, a funding gap of £16,000,000 for next year.

Bluh's answer is twofold: Firstly he'll axe yet more jobs, and yet more services in order to service the interest payments on the debts he and his colleagues have merrily accrued....

...and secondly he's trying to shunt blame onto the local labour group of councillors because they DID NOT leave a debt behind them when they lost control of  Swindon Borough Council.  For the record I think the Council finances were about £10,000,000 in the green when Bawden & Co took control.  In Bluh-speak, leaving no debt= no investment by the preceding labour administration.

Did anyone else hear, (or possibly record?), Cllr Bluh on the radio this morning finally being forced to admit that his Conservative group did inherit a surplus from the last Labour controlled Council in Swindon?

He claimed it was only £6,000,000 and not the £10,000,000 I've previously stated but considering that almost every claim Cllr Bluh makes tends to wilt under scrutiny, I'm inclined to stick my my £10 million figure and ask where the remaining £4,000,000 went?

I'm also inclined to think that the £10,000,000 was spent on Bluh's 'delivery' of the (then) new central library but of course he won't want to admit to that because it would mean admitting that he'd actually used the money as Labour had intended to, (or so I am told), i.e, using the surplus monies from the sale of the Brunel centre to build the new library. 

If I'm right the irony is somewhat extreme - the only positive thing Bluh has managed to deliver was done on the back of possibly the last positive action by Cllr Small and his labour colleagues as they lost control of the council...... :santa_grin:

It's difficult to imagine what positives a new leader of Swindon Borough Council could ever pull out the God-Awful mess Cllr Bluh has created.

 

Offline Muggins

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What I caught of the interview, it was the interviewer that brought up the £6m, to which Bluh blustered.  He didn't deny it, and did indeed say that the previous adminstiration hadn't spent anything. He said something abaout it being revenue not capitol, or the other way around.

What a load of tosh, for one thing the previous administration had 4 times the number of staff, a fully working community development dept, a full working parks and countryside dept, including at one point 8 landscape architects (whose skills they used to sell to the developers) and about 12 Park Rangers (not only ranging but offering education in those matters). A property service dept you could get an answer out of.  etc. etc, etc, etc, etc

So what have we got extra for all that debt, Aye, Aye????  A couple of new 'sculptures and a pocket park?  Oh and a new station forecourt and new paving up the town.
 
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Tobes

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To be completely fair to Bluh (a courtesy he sometimes appears reluctant to extend to others...?) - lets think about the figures....

- Lets look at the budget available to the previous administration, and the credit/debt they left
- Now lets look at the Bluh administration's available budget and credit debt.
- Then lets carefully consider the resulting stats in the light of Muggins point, that the previous administration was paying for a much larger and more capable team.

THEN we will have a very clear indication of whether Bluh is a victim of economic circumstance and central govt funding cuts - or one of his own hubris and incompentance.

Can anyone who has access to and understands figures provide a simple breakdown like that?
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Offline Terry Reynolds

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Geoff, if you check the budget for the year that labour went out of office, in it was the financial proposals for the library, it was to be built from future council budget funding, and when the present lot took over, they scarpped that and built if cheaper.. and Im sure smaller..
again I now have no proof, but what was the 90 milliongot from the sale of the Brunel used for, Im convinced that moneis received from the gov itself from the sale of council houses, was used to refurb the cenre. and then a lot was used to replace the pension fund deficit, but what else no houses were built with it..

Offline Geoff Reid

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again I now have no proof, but what was the 90 milliongot from the sale of the Brunel used for, Im convinced that moneis received from the gov itself from the sale of council houses, was used to refurb the cenre. and then a lot was used to replace the pension fund deficit, but what else no houses were built with it..


Thanks Kohima, you've just reminded me, and now the rest of Swindon, that when Rod Bluh claimed the last Labour council spent no money in Swindon, he must be ignorant of the facts or being mendacious again. :)

Anyway, I'm pretty sure we've covered what happened to the money generated by selling the Brunel Centre several times before, but getting the facts straight is never a chore for members of Eric Pickle's Army Of Armchair Auditors :)

The Brunel Centre was sold in 1999 for £93,000,000

£20,000,000 was used to repay a loan which had been taken out in 1995 to refurbish the centre.

£3,000,000 was the accumulated costs of settling debts associated with the Brunel Centre.

£15,000,000 was spent, (quite shrewdly imho), by allocating it to social housing refurbishments in the full knowledge that the government, (under Blair), would claw it back from the corporation to repay accumulated general debt.  Cancelling that debt saved £2,100,000 in interest payments.

£12,500,00 (I think) was used to halve the pension fund debt Swindon Borough Council inherited from Wiltshire County Council in 1997

£15,000,000 was allocated to the 2001 capital programme, which included:

£2,600,000 for a primary school in Lady Lane (didn't this open in 2003?)

£1,400,000 for a classroom extension at Headlands School

£1,000,000 for temporary wossnames at Hreod Parkway School

£1,400,000 on (then new) libraries at Highworth and next to the Asda at the Orbital centre.


There's some other stuff and some financial joggery-poker, but about £12,500,000 remained in the council coffers from the sale of the Brunel and it is my contention that the New Library and other of Bluh's early spends were funded from accounts which the previous Labour council had left in credit, indeed, one could argue that the outgoing Labour council were several years ahead of the curve when it came to paying-down debt and that Bluh lags a long way behind the curve as he continued to build up debt long after the financial crisis had almost everybody else paying down debts and not taking out any further borrowing.

What is abundantly clear though, is that Bluh's claim that Labour didn't spend anything in or on Swindon is clearly and demonstrably not true (No surprise really) - and this is just using one example from one year.




Footnote: In a curious irony, in 2001 Ian Thompson, (Who was the council's director of finance), pointed out that despite gaps in the following year's revenue budget, the money from the Brunel Sale could only be spent on one-off capital projects and could not be frittered away on ongoing costs.

The irony is this: The several £millions of 'exit' money paid to SBC by Taylor Wimpey to get out of the Wichelstowe money pit during a deepening financial crisis has,  under Bluh's administration, been spent on paying interest payments on the capital debt instead of paying down the amount of debt capital itself.   The debt still exists.

Peter robbing Paul?


edit to correct typo.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 07:34:04 PM by Geoff Reid »