Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Is this what 2011 will look like?

As council after council announces swinging cuts to services in response to their dreadful funding settlements, much focus has, quite rightly, has been on the steep cuts to services for the poorest - meals on wheels, after-school clubs and other services.

But these are, to a certain extent, invisible cuts to many people. They hurt those in need, sure, and they almost certainly result in long-term damage to society and contribute to rising crime. But, nevertheless, their short-term impact is not necesarily felt by wider society, at least initially.

However, will 2011 see the start of a more visible manifestation of the cuts? As Westminster Council announces plans to switch of street lights, Sefton Council reduces fly-tipping cleaning squads and others look to reduce rubbish and recycling collections, it is highly likely urban areas in particular will start to look visibly more run down, dirty and darker.

Will it be this visible impact of draconian cuts that finally starts to hit Conservative (and not just Lib Dem) support?

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