Sam Rumens exposes what is going on here and the activities of the local M.P.'s. They are trying to make out there is not a crisis in local government finance induced by over 8 years of austerity. Unfortunately, Northants is not the only choking canary in the toxic coal mine of council finance. It seems that East Sussex, Shropshire and Somerset are headed to the Northants denouement!
No deal. The government have by their actions and rhetoric boxed themselves in impossibly when it comes to setting out the public finances for 2018/19. There is a plethora of spending needs from virtually all parts of the public sector which no doubt will be added to at today's Conference. Tightening austerity is simply not politically credible so the only way out is increases in taxes and that means choosing between income based taxes and spending based taxes. Maybe the conservatives have decided to requesition some of Corbyn's money trees!
Attempting to finance adult social care through allowing above inflation council tax increases is not only inadequate it is also unfair as the yield of each percentage point varies markedly between councils. It will not enable the recovery of past cuts, it will not deal with the current financial pressures.
Surrey's attempt to raise 15% reflect the depth of the crisis and will probably fail providing a manadate for draconian future cuts to Surrey's care budget. Furthermore the LGA are now pointing to child social care facing a shortfall of £1.9bn in the next three years. This may have implications for the NHS also.
The referendum legislation does not require the government to implement the outcome. It is purely about the question, how it is organised, the timetable and regulations covering campaigning and their expenditure. This is a major constitutional change supported by only 37.5% of the registered electorate (not the adult population). It is Parliament that is sovereign in this and every other issue and nothing can be done until Parliament agrees that the process of withdrawing begins and they can decide to remain. How can it do this? 1) A free vote which will clearly upset the Leave voters but attenuates the culpability of the government and opposition. 2 A managed vote in which the official position of both government and opposition is to support the leave decision but 'allows' individual party members to defy a flaccid whip. There is an obvious danger - the debate is likely to be conducted when vast numbers of demonstrators from each side come to lobby parliament and M.P.'s. Mass rioting cannot be ruled out which may force the fall of the government and a dissolution of parliament. This scenario would be Cameron's resignation legacy to the nation!
Comment on: The housing bill was a missed opportunity
The Bill is the work of a rabid ideologue who simply hated social housing and there is no clearer demonstration of this than the forced selling of council houses to subsidise better off tenants to join the housing bonanza. That idea is like the Trump suggestion of bulding a wall at the Mexican border and make the Mexicans pay for it!
Last year according to DCLG over 16,000 council dwellings were sold and 1800 built. One-for-one? - we will see if this is achieved for the first time since 1980!