Editor’s weekly column: County cuts are the ones to worry about

Neil Pickford is the editor of the Harborough Mail
Neil Pickford is the editor of the Harborough Mail

The sheer scale of the cuts being proposed by Leicestershire County Council should concern everyone in the Harborough district.

The politicians at Harborough District Council are examining plans to save hundreds of thousands of pounds, but those figures are dwarfed by the immense amount of cuts that the county council is being forced to make.

Read the Mail’s story about the proposed County Hall budget plans: Up to 700 jobs to go at County Hall.

And make no mistake about it, if County Hall has to make £100m of cuts, then public services in our district will suffer.

In many ways, Harborough District Council’s pledge to freeze its proportion of the council tax demand is an irrelevance.

The percentage of our council tax bills that go to local district councils, and thus any increases they impose, is so small that it would not unduly impact on the overall size of the bill anyway.

So, while it is absolutely right that Harborough District Council’s budget should be fully scrutinised and examined by the politicians and people living and working here, that should not distract from the problems and decisions that will be made just a few miles down the road in the county town.

You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, and you can’t cut £100m from your budget without hitting frontline services.

That being the case, it is imperative that the people of the
Harborough district pay attention to what is going on at county level and have their say on the changes that are undoubtedly coming.

Column by Neil Pickford.

Follow Neil on Twitter, @NeilPickfordHM.