Friday, March 02, 2018

Budget threads Cllrs Emma Knox and Ben Thompson of Highland Council - further material for all serious students of the cuts and charges facing Nairn after the recent HC budget

Yesterday we published details from a thread by SNP opposition candidate Emma Knox. We updated that article with comments from Independent Cllr Ben Thompson. Today Ben Thompson has published further material in a thread here. We realise that in Internet user terms that twitter is a minority sport but there is quite a lot of information out there and a lot of politicians use it regularly. 


Anonymous said...

Ben's tweets make a mockery of the story Emma was trying to push.

pots and kettles said...

These commentaries are both - in their different ways - fascinating. But both are also self-serving.

Emma Knox, as an SNP Councillor, is keen to argue that the SNP government has in fact been generous to Highland Council and other local authorities. She seeks to assert that the picture presented by the Council (of budget-shortfalls and the need for cuts) is misleading. She concludes that the current problems are the result of the Council's "bad management and poor leadership".

Her latter conclusion is spot-on. But it doesn't validate her claim of government generosity.

Ben Thompson's analysis, as an Independent and thus one assumes a supporter of the ruling group in Highland Council, is essentially that the government is using smoke and mirrors. No surprise. He claims that the SNP's wheeling and dealing with the Greens has resulted the presentation of existing funding allocations (or obligatory spending increases) as 'new', or 'extra' money and that in reality the Council has been short-changed.

Both commentators are seeing this in party-political terms, and using the situation as an opportunity for political point-scoring. This is unhelpful.

But both are right to suggest that the real problem is Highland Council's inability to set sensible priorities, plan budgets effectively, and manage resources efficiently.