Friday, 18 December 2009
The real cost of wardens - less than one penny a day!
Barely had the ink dried on the High Court Judgement, when warden snatcher Lynne Hillan announced that the council would appeal the decision. You can already hear the tills ringing in the lawyers’ offices.
But has she or any of those other very clever people who run the council actually considered the real cost to Barnet residents for keeping this vital service?
Hillan says the council needs to save £400,000 a year. Well clearly that’s a lot of money for one person to find. But according to Barnet’s Annual Report 2008/09, our council tax is based on there being the equivalent of 136,605 Band D properties.
In other words, the cost of the permanent warden service costs the average Barnet household just £2.93 a year. That’s 5.6p a week - less than a penny a day!
If you asked Barnet residents if they would like to see their council tax reduced (which is what happens in real Conservative councils like Hammersmith & Fulham) the majority would most likely say “yes”.
But if you then asked the same residents whether they would be prepared to pay just a penny a day to keep our senior citizens safe and secure in sheltered accommodation, the answer is a no-brainer. Nobody, apart from Lynne Hillan, could possibly begrudge spending such a trifling sum looking after the Borough’s beloved grandparents and great-grandparents.
Rather than accept defeat graciously and move on, Hillan seems determined to bury her head in the sand and ignore the results of the public consultation. Nobody disputes the need for the council to save money. The real problem, however, is that Lynne Hillan seems to know the price of everything but the value of nothing.