By GIUSEPPE DE SANTIS - Last February Labour councillors in Barking & Dagenham agreed to cut spending for £23m and achieved that by axing seven park rangers, slashing £120,000 from voluntary sector grants, cutting children and youth services, getting rid of up to 200 council jobs and closing down The News, the council-run newspaper.
Whereas the closure of The News was long overdue (the British National Party has long campaigned to get rid of it) Labour councillors did nothing to tackle wasteful expenditure.
On this regards we got an interesting FOI response from Banking & Dagenham council about how much it spends every year in union officers.
GMG - 3,5 - £67,020 (3 officers employed full time and one part-time)
UNISON - 1 - £33,510
T&G UNITE - 1 - £30,390
APEX - 2 - £56,064
ATL - 1- £27,000
NASUWT - 1 - £45,000
NUT - 1 - £61,392
So Barking & Dagenham council is wasting £320,376 a year on people that should be paid by trade unions and not by taxpayers.
Such arrangement allow unions to save huge amount of money that they can use to make donation to the Labour party and to bankroll antifascist groups.
Probably Labour councillors could start to do something useful for the borough by sacking all the union officers (they should be paid by unions and not by local authorities) and use the savings to reinstate the seven park rangers that the council decided to sack, a decision that didn't go well with the residents in the borough.
Also the council last year wasted £83,834 in interpreters and translations and maybe Labour councillors can also try to do something about that as well.
Don't hold your breath but rest assured we will put pressure on them as we are still there alive and kicking.