Fresh headache for Cameron after “easy council” plans ruled illegal

David Cameron will now have to decide whether or not to introduce legislation if he wins the election enabling councils to charge for services.

Tory-run Barnet Council’s plans for “no frills” services have been ruled illegal by the High Court. Today’s Times reports that the judgement has forced them into rethinking planned cuts – including cutting the number of live-in wardens in sheltered housing.

The council outlined their no frills approach last August, voting to implement it in October. The scheme would have seen provision of key services slashed, with wealthy residents able to jump the queue for planning applications and rubbish collections.

The ball is now in David Cameron’s court, with coucil leader Lynne Hillan urging him to pave the way for such schemes with new legislation if he wins power. She told The Times:

“Councils do have powers to impose some charges but there is no flexibility.

“We are now pressing the Tory leadership to introduce new laws if they win power to allow councils to implement their initiatives.”

With George Osborne telling the Conservative Councillors’ Seminar in September that “Conservative Whitehall will have much to learn from Conservative town halls”, Ms Hillan will have her dream of services for the few come true if the Conservatives win.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today. 

8 Responses to “Fresh headache for Cameron after “easy council” plans ruled illegal”

  1. Liz McShane

    Thank God for that! Such a horrible and opportunistic policy – hopefully it’s now truly dead in the water. Just think what they might do to the NHS etc if they get their grubby hands on it.

  2. Oliver Deed

    As somebody born and bred in Barnet I have to express my relief at the decision made in the High Court. Lynne Hillian, Brian Coleman, Mike Freer and friends are determined to introduce a most inhumane in Barnet.

    Cllr John Hart sums their attitude up nicely:

    “With council tenants, and I’ll admit I am putting it crudely, it has been a lot of ‘my arse needs wiping, and somebody from the council can come and do it for me.”

    What a disgusting attitude. Embodies the attitude of an arrogant and out of touch council.

  3. Oliver Deed

    RT @leftfootfwd: Fresh headache for Cameron after “easy council” plans ruled illegal: http://is.gd/5MRGC reports @shamikdas

  4. Matthew Taylor

    And now @leftfootfwd carries a sloppy (and wrong) piece by @shamikdas on the "easyJet council" case http://bit.ly/87iNiM

  5. Sue Thomas

    RT @leftfootfwd Fresh headache for Cameron after “easy council” plans ruled illegal: http://is.gd/5MRGC reports @shamikdas

  6. Conservative-run Leicestershire County Council – cutting costs by cutting more than 600 jobs | Left Foot Forward

    […] Left Foot Forward reported a blow to Conservative controlled Barnet’s plans for “no frills” council services […]

  7. (un)Easy Councils « A Life in Beta

    […] Fresh headache for Cameron after “easy council” plans ruled illegal(leftfootforward.org) […]

  8. Vote Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition « Though Cowards Flinch

    […] ringfences imposed by central government, and allow them to gut funding of the voluntary sector and public services. Unfavourable ‘public consultations’ will simply be […]

Leave a Reply