Much is being made of the fact that Liberal Democrat controlled Liverpool is the worst run Council in the country in respect of financial management… but hey, I want to leap to their defence and make out a case for the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition in Birmingham.
According to the Birmingham-based Stirrer website:
We reported on Friday that newspapers weren’t being delivered to city libraries as a result of the fiasco (see link here) while on Saturday it emerged that angry creditors were calling in the baillifs (see link here).
Yesterday the Deputy Council leader Paul Tilsley promised an urgent review, warning that the situation had to be sorted by March – the peak month for invoices (see link here).
All the evidence is that they are cutting it fine. An official statement by the local authority admitted 18,000 invoices have already gone beyond the standard four week payment date, and a further 3,000 are awaiting ‘clarification’.
You can add to this the shocking mess they are making of the single status pay and grading review. Not surprisingly they have they failed to please all those who lost pay during the review, but they also totally unnecessarily succeeded in upsetting the remainder by introducing new contracts for employees involving seven-day working and scrapping unsocial hours premiums, which has led to 4 unions voting for strike action from February 5th. Desperate not to enter the run-up to the Council elections with a ‘winter of discontent’ image of bin bags piling up on the streets, the Tory-Lib Dem administration is attempting to bribe the bin men not to back the strike by stitching up a seperate deal to protect their bonus payments – a deal which the unions are warning may well be unlawful. All the signs are that the bin men will not fall for the bribe anyway… Sunday morning collections don’t appeal to them either.