CONSERVATIVE education spokesman Cllr James Halden feels the proposed department restructure vindicates his views about the vast size and expense of the council.
Cllr Halden said “I stared to put the issues of the £3,000,000 overspend in children’s care and the £2,500,000 increase in education staff spending in the public domain. I was trying to demonstrate the fact that we have schools leaving council control, yet we are still hoarding money in the council. It was empire building”.
Last week, the Labour cabinet agreed to break up the “people services” directorate, meaning that a vacant £130,000 per year director job will not now be recruited for.
Cllr Halden said “This is a very positive step forward. I am pleased that this monolithic department will be scrapped. I asked questions in the full council last year to this effect, and I was brushed off. However this support of the Conservative view that the structure is outdated and not needed in an age where the local education authority needs to shrink and release money to schools vindicates what I have been saying. I’m glad Labour have finally listened to us”.
However, when asked about what this means for the future, Cllr Halden was more combative. “This proves that having a large and extremely centralised structure is just not necessary. We will be now more robust in our views of reforming the council and giving real power back to schools and front line service providers.”