The attempt to meet all borough leaders having failed (excepting Waverley BC see September diary) the invitation was withdrawn for the time being (it would in any case be impractical to get close and personal without time and resources for detailed application 11 times over).
1st: Letter in Daily Telegraph welcoming George Osborne’s intention at the Conservative Party Conference to freeze council tax but questioning the method in view of this tax being locked into redistributive grant funding, and implied interference in local spending decisions.
13th: Message to Surrey CC asked for council intentions in light of the financial crisis and £20m deposit with Icelandic banks at risk. Answer received indicated that in February attempt was made to get repayment but term arrangements prevented. On looking ahead it was too early to assess affect of global banking crisis, debt unwinding and coming probably deep recession.
15th: Letter to borough leaders halting initiative to meet (see above) and similarly asking about intentions into 2009 and “what comfort are you offering taxpaying pensioners?” and “why shouldn’t public employees share in pension fund back-funding?”
24th: Asked questions of County Council on Auditor’s qualification with Annual Accounts of County Council regarding lack of arrangements for internal control
28th: Bob Neill MP tells me (eventually) that a shadow green paper on local government reform – including issues of finance – will be forthcoming, will be sent to me and will be open for consultation. MP Anne Milton seems to have helped produce this much delayed result for me.
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