This is to open a discussion, hopefully not a heated one. I am genuinely worried about controls over local authorities and other government bodies. For the past couple of months, all we have heard on the news is cuts, cuts, cuts. OK, they are needed, badly and now. My question is "Is anyone doing the sums?" What I mean by that is everyone has jumped on the bandwagon and saying they are going to have to cut 1000 policemen here, 50,000 local council workers there, x number of teachers, Y number of soldiers/ships/aircraft from MOD. Everyone is putting up their worst case scenarios in the hope that Osbourne will take pity on them and not be so tough. GO has asked for 20-40% cuts across the board with ring fencing for some areas such as NHS (which may not be so ring fenced after all). Each and every authority - regardless of political colour - is using this to cut areas from their budget that they did not have the courage to do before, saying it is not their fault. Is any body checking the 'poor-me' statements from authorities who infer huge cuts and reductions in services to ensure that a: essential services continue b: that authorities are properly looking at their budgets and not doing the sums on the back of an envelope? While a huge reduction in public services is required to reduce the amount government pays out at the moment, what checks are in place to ensure that local authorities do not overstretch their cuts and actually become failing authorities? If councils get their sums wrong and the cuts in their central government allocation are mis-handled then that will only mean that your council tax will rise. Qui custodiet ipsos custodes? Opinions rather than rants would be appreciated.