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Local Government Service Group Conference Liverpool 18-21 June 2013

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Support for scrutinising council budgets

Andy Barnett

Andy Barnett
"What's one plus one? Whatever you want it to be. It shows the difficulty in understanding budgets"


UNISON will train specialists to help branches analyse council budgets and help identify alternative proposals to the employer's cuts in jobs and services. It will also work with regions and branches on support at branch level people with the time and knowledge to analyse hidden savings and other budget queries.

Edinburgh's Andy Barnett, supporting the Eastern Region motion, brought laughter when he said his accountant father's favourite joke was; "What's one plus one? Whatever you want it to be. It shows the difficulty in understanding budgets", said Andy.

"We are fortunate in Edinburgh that our Labour led administration are raising the bar in terms of budget scrutiny - the draft will be available for scrutiny from September and this is a step we welcome and hope will become a more widely established practice throughout the country.

"We have an obligation to our members to scrutinise the budgets of our employers and try to pick up where these cuts are going to take place and to challenge them", added Andy.

"Speaking for our branch, we don't have budget scrutiny experts within our activist base and I am sure this is the same for most branches.

"We are fortunate to have had the benefit of a briefing from the walking, talking encyclopedia that is Dave Watson, but still, we are not in the position we need to be in to adequately ask questions of the budget."

17 June 2013






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