Vampires seek more blood…

Camden residents of properties in the higher council tax bands are probably well used to receiving begging letters from organisations asking for money. They may however be about to get a new one – from the council.

In addition to the £2,662.70 (£2,043.06 to Camden, £619.64 to the Greater London Authority) that they paid in council tax in 2010/11, the council is considering asking richer residents to donate up to 5% of their annual bonuses to help the council bridge the estimated £100 million gap between their income and their expenditure over the next three years.

And what might this scheme raise?

The paltry (in terms of their overspend) sum of £0.5 million – or 0.5% of the shortfall.

Really worth the effort, not.

So, how much does Camden Council spend?

In the accounts for 2009/10 (the last year available on their website) they spent £1,130.66 million.

If one is to make the (very unlikely assumption) that over the next three years they spend the same amount of money each year then we are talking a sum of £3,3391.88 million. A £100 million shortfall over the same time therefore works out as only 0.3% of that. Even if we are to say that it is the shortfall each year we can still only up to 0.9%..

Are Camden council therefore really saying that they can’t save less than 1% of their budget?

On a final note, would these begging letters be sent to their CEO (salary £199,961 plus £11,481 bonus in 2009/10) or the ‘Director of Culture and Environment’ (salary £151,734 plus £8,712 bonus in 2009/10) or any other the other 15 officials whose total remuneration (excluding pension contributions) topped out at over £100,000? Assuming of course that these individuals actually live within the borough…


  1. Demelza says:

    Call me a cynic, but … they’re expecting not to raise this half a million. And if you don’t raise it, you can not have it over and over again. “Oh this library, if we’d had that half a mill we could have kept it open” etc. Ad nauseam.

    • Misanthrope Girl says:

      I would hope that, if implemented, no-one paid up although wouldn’t be surprised if one or two idiots did. What it is however is emotional blackmail: pay up or the library gets it.

      I couldn’t find a complete list of everyone they employ and what jobs they do or whom they give money to but I’m willing to bet I could find more than £100 million per year in cuts without ruining the basic council services.

  2. Me says:

    I read the Camden story. I dont know what hue the council is there, but left or right, the current political reform at government level seems to be a charter for local vested interests to make a powe grab. Witness the IW where a small, comparatively, cut in the central support grant, is being used as a excuse for a wholesale civic disengagement policy by the council, backed by a very narrow political ideology. The sad thing is the vocal can complain, as doubtless those approached in Camden will do, once they’ve finished laughing; the voiceless have little chance.