Archive for Public Sector

Conservatives warn of Croydon Scenario due to debt levels mounting

Enfield Council’s debt level is spiraling out of control. The Labour run Council has amassed a £1 billion of outstanding debt. The figures were reported in the Treasury Management Report which was discussed at the November Full Council meeting.

Borrowing figures are worrying as it is potentially putting Enfield Council on the same path as Croydon which effectively has gone bankrupt with a debt level not much different to our own council.

The Council has moved past £1bn of debt. This would have been £200m higher had COVID-19 not delayed investment plans. Despite, Conservatives making constant representations at Full Council meetings of the risks, the Labour Administration is still wedded to doubling the debt to reach over £2bn in the next five years.

The irony is that there is very little to show for the borrowing undertaken. Hundreds of millions have been borrowed in order to develop at Meridian but not a single home has been built. The council’s energy company has yet to make a profit.

Interest on the borrowing is paid from the revenue account meaning that money used to fund everyday services that residents crucially rely on.

Councillor Joanne Laban, Leader of the Opposition and Conservative Group, said “Croydon effectively going bankrupt should be a wake-up call for the Labour Administration here in Enfield. The Conservative Group will be informing the Secretary of State of its concerns as we do not wish to see Enfield Council going the same way as Croydon.”

Councillor James Hockney, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance, said “This Council continues to borrow like there is no tomorrow; ignoring the stark warning signs. They still cannot explain why, pre-covid, they changed course from paying off their debt to instead more than doubling an eye watering level of existing debt. They are playing monopoly with the people’s money”.

Enfield Borough Conservatives welcome spending review

Enfield Borough ConservativesSpending Review shows Conservatives commitment to fight coronavirus, deliver on its promises and invest in our recovery

Enfield Borough Conservatives have welcomed the Spending Review which provides billions of pounds in the fight against coronavirus, delivers on the Conservative’s promises it has made to the British people and invests in the UK’s recovery.

The Government set out an ambitious plan that focuses on levelling up across the country, investing in vital infrastructure that will ensure the UK builds back better from coronavirus.

The Spending Review commits to billions of pounds to help tackle coronavirus next year, including £18 billion to fund our programmes on community testing, test and trace, PPE and vaccines.

£100 billion capital spending including infrastructure to drive UK’s recovery and support jobs – levelling up across the United Kingdom as we build back better from coronavirus.

Great news for London and Enfield Borough

Schools: Ensuring every child has the best start in life by boosting per pupil funding. Schools in London will receive £6.7 billion in per-pupil funding through the schools block – an average per-pupil increase of 2.3 per cent compared to 20-21.

Hospitals: Improving health services in London. We are building 6 hospitals and continuing to grow medical undergraduate degree places, with an additional 137 places in London compared to 2017-18.

Transport: Continuing to address capacity issues by financing the completion of Crossrail.

Crime: Tackling crime by recruiting more police officers. London will benefit from a share of 6,000 new police officers in 2021-22.

Homes: Unlocking new homes in the region. London will benefit from over £600 million in funding across 13 projects as part of the marginal viability and forwarding funding elements of the Housing Infrastructure Fund.

Jobs: 1,385,500 London jobs supported through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Business: Over 269,000 London businesses supported through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme and the Bounce Back Loans Scheme with loans worth £11.4 billion.

Commenting, Shadow Finance, Councillor James Hockney said:

“While the health emergency facing our country is not yet over, the economic emergency has only just begun. The Chancellor’s Spending Review tackles this unprecedented situation directly – ensuring lives and livelihoods in Enfield Borough are protected and supported in the weeks and months ahead.

“The steps taken by the Government have provided a floor under the Enfield and Edmonton Economy, protecting 1 in 3 jobs through the furlough, self-employed support with many businesses receiving a raft of measures including grants and loans”.

Councillor Joanne Laban, Leader of the Opposition and Conservative Group said:

“The Chancellor’s announcements today of another £1.55 billion to local authorities to meet additional expenditure as a result of COVID-19 and the additional investment in housing is tackling the current issues head on. The extra money for the Troubled Families Programme is particularly pleasing as it will provide intensive support to families facing multiple problems.”

Conservative Government announces extra £9.62 million pounds for Enfield Borough Council

Government announces extra £9.62 million pounds for Enfield Borough Council to continue providing vital services during coronavirus

• Enfield Borough Council to benefit from extra £9.62 million pounds in funding announced by the Government.

• Councils have received £6.4 billion in additional direct support since April.

• Local authority has been provided with £40.61 million pounds in extra funding since the pandemic began.

People living and working in Enfield Borough will benefit after Enfield Borough Council was given a share of £900m in additional Government funding for local councils.

The money will be used locally to help the council cover coronavirus-related costs and ensure it has the resources needed to keep providing key services as we battle the Covid pandemic.

It means Enfield Borough Council has now received £40.61 million pounds in direct extra support from the Government since the start of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Enfield Borough Council will benefit from a share of a further £100m established to support council-run leisure centres across the country, which are proving key to helping the health and well-being of people in the area.

The new funding means local councils will have £1bn extra in funding this winter to help maintain vital services.

And Cllr James Hockney said the Government support is proving crucial to people living in Enfield Borough as it means Enfield Borough Council can continue to provide the essential services needed.

“The £9.62 million pounds announced today is hugely welcome and will ease financial pressures on Enfield Borough Council and ensure it is able to continue providing vital local services this winter.

“Just like we said we would stand behind people whose jobs are at risk – with over £200 billion so far to project jobs, incomes and businesses throughout and beyond this pandemic – this Conservative Government is keeping its promise to local authorities and ensuring they have the resources they need to continue supporting people”

The funding has not been ring-fenced, meaning local leaders will be able to determine how to spend the additional funding in order to best protect public health, local vulnerable people and the running of vital services. In total, over £4.6 billion of the £6.4 billion in additional government funding made available to councils has not been ring-fenced, reflecting the Government’s view that local authorities are best placed to determine local priorities.

This is the fourth announcement of extra direct support for local authorities since the start of the pandemic. It forms part of an unprecedented package of support for councils.


A better deal for public sector workers

This week the Government announced the biggest public sector pay rise in almost 10 years – to help recognise the vital work that teachers, the police, armed forces, prison officers, doctors and dentists do.

Pay restraint over the years has not been an easy decision to take, as the Government took difficult decisions to reduce the nations deficit.

It is because of this balanced approach to the public finances, that the Government is now in a position to announce the biggest pay rise in almost 10 years for around a million public sector workers.

Our deficit is still too high – each year around £50 billion a year is spent on debt interest, which is more than the police and armed forces budgets combined. This offer strikes the right balance between fair pay, and ensuring public services have the resources they need.

Pay rises announced:

• Teachers will see the highest pay rise since 2010. The lowest paid 40 per cent of teachers – including all those earning under £35,000 – will be eligible for a 3.5 per cent baseline pay rise in 2018-19, equivalent to at least £800. Teachers in the Upper Pay Range, earning above £35,000, will be eligible for a 2 per cent baseline pay rise.

• Armed forces will see the highest pay rise since 2010. Service personnel will receive a 2 per cent increase to salaries plus a 0.9 per cent one off payment, worth a combined £980 for the average member of the armed forces.

• Police will see the highest pay rise since 2010. Police officers will receive a 2 per cent baseline pay rise in 2018-19, worth £760 to a police constable on an average wage.

• Prison officers will see the highest pay rise since 2008. Prison Officers will receive a 2.75 per cent pay rise in 2018-19. Most staff on modernised grades will also be receiving performance related pay, meaning someone on Band 3 Officer’s pay on modernised terms will see a 4.1 per cent increase this year.

• Doctors and dentists will see the highest pay rise since 2008. Dentists and junior doctors will receive a 2 per cent baseline pay rise from October 2018; GPs will receive 2 per cent baseline increase with a further 1 per cent potentially available subject to contract reform; the small minority of Speciality (SAS) Doctors will receive a baseline pay rise of 3 per cent from October 2018.