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Joined-up thinking can help deficit.

THE Chancellor is looking to reduce the deficit with sweeping public sector cuts. However, making cuts alone is not sufficient in a public sector with no joined-up thinking.

We have a myriad of departments all mired with a silo mentality to how they manage and spend their various budgets, with absolutely no regard for the impact they have on other departments.

Only in the public sector would you have people wasting money on pointless projects just to use up their budget allocation. They seemingly can't or won't donate any surplus to other more deserving departments.

A typical example is that Newcastle city council recently spent tens of thousands of pounds removing a roundabout and replacing it with a load of other traffic management controls on a suburban high street.

Post completion, I believe it benefits no one and has ended up creating more congestion than the previously 'problem free' roundabout did. At the same time, the council has warned of a lack of funds to elderly care, education, policing and fire services.

A lack of funding that will lead to increases in hospital admissions, fires, crime and school overcrowding and thus further pressure on other departments with overstretched budgets.

Asked why they didn't redirect the money in the road budget to the other departments - the council said they "...can't use money allocated for capital projects on providing services..."

There is little point in fiscal prudence without procurement reform if we are to reduce the public sector deficit.

ALAN CARTER, Newcastle

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 22, 2015
Words:250
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