Councillor Lee Carter must take more effort in trying to square the circle in describing his financial management of Telford and Wrekin’s budget. On 16 February we read that because of ‘the strength of (his) financial management’ the council had underspent by £3.1 million. Then by 23rd February we are told that Social Care is in crisis but nevertheless we can afford to hold down council tax to well below the maximum level that would invoke a referendum. So we have two profoundly heartless and cynical Carteresque decisions 1) to underspend when there is massive need being unmet especially in Social Care and 2) Deliberately hold down council tax which leads to further cuts next year, and in the future, in departments that aren’t even dealing with their statutory obligations to vulnerable people (but hey, vulnerable people rarely vote so nothing to worry about). Many of us thought that the latest changes in the Labour Party might steel this council’s resolve to fight these austerity cuts instead of making them worse – even deepest blue Surrey County council proposed a massive 15% hike in its council tax to mitigate the harm being done to their vulnerable adults and were maybe putting their conscience before their worries about losing votes. But you never know Lee, perhaps the electorate could be persuaded to put their hands in their pockets if it means that an elderly patient discharged from hospital can get washed and fed and adequately cared for. I know that would get my vote.