BRISTOL City Council's process of scrutiny and consultation on the budget cuts proposed for 2012/13 is a sham. Discussions are taking place based on the absolute minimum of information that the Lib Dems think they can get away with publishing.
Unless there is a major fightback the budget, which includes the expected savings from closing and privatising care homes and day centres, will be agreed on February 28. But the details of the closures/privatisation and the impact on users and the community won't be announced until mid-March. You can already hear Barbara Janke and Jon Rogers telling us "It was agreed in the budget" if anyone suggests the facilities should stay open. Similarly over £1 million is to be saved by privatising Youth Services, yet no detailed proposals are available.
Either the detailed proposals on these important services must be published now, or the closure/privatisation policies should be removed from the budget. Any attempt by the council to approve the policies as part of the budget without being prepared to discuss the details in public is nothing less than underhand.