As one of their departing ministers accurately put it - there is no more money left. As the previous Government went on its spending binge nearly puuting the country into ruin it seems that all local councils the lenght and bredth of the country will be feeling the squeeze in the next round of local government funding.
We are approaching the stage where local authorities are starting to put their budgets together and Southend is no different.
Over the years opposition councillors very rarely get involved in the budget process, preferring to oppose budgets without offering any alternatives.
This year a number of member workshops have been planned for all councillors to have their input into having a good look at what the council does, should we still be doing it, can we do things in a different way and where can savings be made.
Sadly, but predictably, the Labour group have declined to participate but there dicision has been heavily criticised in the local press. As the party responsible for potentially savage cuts all around the country, they owe it to the residents of Southend to play their part in ensuring that any cuts are as painless as possible.
Instead they have chosen to bury their heads in the sand and try to blame all the cuts on those nasty tories. Well this time it won't wash. Their decision has effectively left Victoria Ward without no representation a fact that I am sure will not be lost on May 5 2011.