Conservative Amendment to General Fund Revenue Budget 2019/2022

Fife Conservatives are calling for Fife Council to learn the lesson of its own outsourcing practice and stop the endless salami-slicing of core services

Conservative Group Leader Dave Dempsey said:

“Every year Fife Council has to find ‘’savings” in what has become a war of attrition on council services. The effects are plain to see: increased stress and absence for employees, and poorer levels of service for the public in everything from the time Fife Council takes to respond to phone calls to the state of our roads. As cuts decided in previous years begin to bite, the impact will only grow, directly affecting the quality of the education our children receive, many of whom will end up with fewer teachers, fewer subject choices, less extra support and a shorter school week.

“Fife Conservatives are calling on the administration to put a stop to the endless salami-slicing by exploring outsourcing across a range of council services. The Council already uses the private and third sectors to deliver numerous services from road resurfacing to building services to social care. For example, 88% of care home beds provided by Fife Council are in the private and third sectors, with each bed costing £595 per week as opposed to £954 in a Council-run care home. Fife Council has to use a mixed economy of in and outsourced services because it lacks both the capacity and the budget to do everything itself. Properly managed, outsourcing saves on average 10-20% in costs.

“The argument for extending outsourcing is a no-brainer: it won’t just remove the need for more cuts, it will even allow services to be improved and extended.

“Ideological prejudice and irrational denial of its own outsourcing practice have prevented the administrative from finding new and more cost-effective ways to deliver services. Instead they would rather put up Council Tax to 3% and slash services for everyone in Fife.

“A combination of judicious use of reserves (to be replenished by outsourcing savings in future years) and a 2.5% cost-of-living Council Tax rise would give the Conservatives an extra £3.898m to spend on services, enabling us to

  • Remove the £0.837million cut to the Health & Social Care budget
  • Remove the £1.296million cut to School Budgets
  • Restore Recycling Centre Opening Hours
  • Restore and reorganise Voluntary Sector funding
  • Devote additional resources to address Dog Fouling
  • Enhance capacity for Community Asset Transfer
  • Revive the Community Safety Partnership
  • Properly fund Fife Gingerbread
  • Double the Unadopted Roads Budget
  • Assign substantial funding to Areas, which could be used to increase spending on road repairs, verge-cutting and litter-picking and lift car parking charges in blighted town centres

“Under Labour and SNP Fifers pay more for less. With a Conservative budget, they would pay a bit less and get a lot more.”

Additional details: Conservative Amendment to Agenda Item 4 General Fund Revenue Budget (PDF)

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