Educating Shapps (part 1 – of many!)

I though local government type people might be interested in my latest letter to Grant Shapps.

From the Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Local Government



Grant Shapps,



Eland House,

Blessenden Place,

London SW1

19th December 2010

Dear Grant,

Re: Local Government Settlement 2010/11

Thanks for our exchange yesterday on the Today Programme. I look forward to another one tomorrow morning on 3 Counties Radio.

I just want to make clear what my offer is to you to involve you in acquiring greater understanding of local government finance.

If you choose any one of the councils which have been ‘given’ the maximum 8.9% decrease in their gross budget I will arrange for you and any officials you wish to take to spend the day with the Leader (Mayor) Chief Executive and Chief Finance officer of that council looking at their finances. I will also ask them to answer any questions about any financial matter that you wish to make in advance of that visit.

In other words I am not talking about the normal Ministerial Royal visit but a full working day of sharing knowledge and experience. I also make this offer to any other DCLG Minister who would like to take it up.

If during that day you can find ways of making realm savings of more than  the 3% in the next financial  year that we have been making in local government for the past 8 years I will ask to go on the Today programmed and apologise for calling you and Mr. Pickles, Laurel and Hardy.

If you cannot I would expect you to come to a meeting with me and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to ask for more transition money. I make it clear I am not even asking for more money in total but a reduction in the front loading element to give us more time to introduce the radical changes in delivery through community budgeting and the restructuring such as Newham have undertaken.

If you are up to this challenge please let me know as soon as possible which council you would like to look at so I can make arrangements.

Yours sincerely,




Richard Kemp

Leader, LGA Liberal Democrats



Cc:       Andrew Stunell

Eric Pickles

Greg Clark

Baroness Hanham

Bob Neill





About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. . Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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