INDEX May 29, 1988
Rates shocker: 'We're wrong'

A DAMNING report on Waltham Forest's Council's 62.2 per cent rate rise has been written-- by a Labour councillor.

Richard Slack has sensationally told his colleagues the rise is "unreasonable, bad management and totally short-sighted."

He particularly criticises the Labour group for failing to fix priorities on spending. .

"Our response to the problem of ordering priorities was to make everything as equal and urgent a priority as anything else. We may just as well not have bothered with policy review as virtually everything the officers have placed in it has gone straight into the budget."

Mr Slack agrees: "Instructions from us to look for savings have been ignored. Officers will only identify savings when they need to do so to finance developments and they will not have the motivation to do so while we continue to play Father Christmas."

And he warns that a freeze on staff recruitment could be anticipated in the autumn, affecting the whole council, not just new services.

"We would be in a situation with some departments staffed for new developments while others would not be staffed to do basic work. In short, the service would deteriorate and, as staff morale lowered and experienced and skilled staff left for better managed posts elsewhere, the deterioration would accelerate."

His confidential report was written on February 20.

Waltham Forest Guardian May 29, 1987