Hampshire County Council priorities for cuts

The following came from WinACC:
Please reply to Hampshire County Council consultation about priorities for cuts.
The ‘Shaping Hampshire – Spending Review Consultation’ asks how the County Council could find £98m from April 2016 onwards.
I suggest that all HCAN members should reply, and encourage their groups to reply, telling the Council that they must make climate change their top priority, and focus their spending on cutting carbon emissions.
Many steps would save money, or at least cost nothing:
  • encourage schools to put solar PV on their roofs – paid for by the community
  • encourage commercial renewable energy developments (instead of attacking wind power)
  • end  support for fracking
  • install renewable sources of electricity and heat whenever HCC buildings are improved
  • always prioritise the needs of walkers and cyclists above car-drivers when designing road schemes
  • lobby for more rail investment
  • revoke their cuts to public transport
We need to convince them that there are votes in climate change.
Please respond yourself, and put this link into your mailings
All the best
Sheila P’s view on this:
Hampshire CC’s document accompanying the questionnaire is quite focused and lists a number of measures that it might take, including, essentially, more and more out-sourcing of services to service-givers who don’t have to be paid as much.  The consultation document at:
http://www3.hants.gov.uk/spendingreviewsurvey (the downloadable PDF, 36 pages long) gives the breakdown of the budget, of which “Adult Services” takes up nearly half (£304M).  Children (non-school) is next at £161M, then Economy, Transport and Environment at £104M, then Corporate Services at £43.5M and finally Culture, Community and Business at £34.3M.  “Adult services” means services for “vulnerable” adults including elderly, disabled and mentally ill people and their carers.  The out-sourcing means, among other things, “service users being increasingly supported through their existing social support networks (e.g. friends, family and community)…”
The subsequent points suggest that innovative ways of integrating the care receivers into the community will result from the Council’s reviewing its provisions.  I hope so; but what I see is that the Council, like most organisations, spends most of its money on salaries and wages, either directly to its employees or indirectly by contracting out.  The end result of any cut is therefore a cut in people’s take-home pay, and for contractors, in the surpluses they make that they can re-invest in improving anything, including their green-ness.
If we need the Council to spend more money on green-ness out of a fixed pot, then we need, in the long run, to reduce the demand for their other services.  How do we do this in the context of “Transition”?  It is too easy just to shout for our own priorities (listed above by WinACC) without considering the bigger picture and the Council’s perception of it.
Not that we shouldn’t all get our fingers out and make all the points WinACC lists!!