I was at tonight’s Cabinet Meeting at Fylde.  Many items were on the agenda, but of particular note was the Baths and the financial position.

On the Baths the cabinet agreed entirely with the course of action that we have sought to keep Kirkham open and that can see St. Annes open very soon.  It is just a pity that opposition councillors could not be happier.  One was so miserable he nearly talked them into closure again.  The next step is for the YMCA board to approve the plans and we should see a long and prosperous relationship between the YMCA and Fylde Council.

On the financial side we heard straight from the horses mouth, that of the Council’s chief financial officer, that Fylde’s finances are under huge pressure, not from anything Fylde has done, but what the New Labour Government had done.  The free bus fare scheme is crippling local councils and will land Fylde with a bill of up to £400,000 – our total budget is only about £10m, so it’s a huge chunk.  The officer, who is impartial, said that the Government has put its head in the sand and is underfunding this scheme so the bill lands on the door mats on Fylde Council Tax Payers.  Is this fair?  Well no it’s not but that New Labour for you.

And the final point is one that depressed me.  I mentioned during the meeting that perhaps Fylde could pay its bill a little sooner to help small local business with cash flow during this credit crunch.  I pointed out that the Country’s financial woes were created by New Labour.  This attracted some very vocal heckles from Independent Councillors in the audience.  The question here, is are they really Independent?  It seems they have more in common with Labour, sticking up for the Government that has brought the credit crunch and the spiralling cost of living upon us.

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