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Council employees in the border town of La Linea, who haven´t been paid since April, blocked access to Gibraltar for 30 minutes in a protest which involved burning tyres. They say they have run out of ways to get their plight noticed.

Protestors set fire to tires, block access to Gibraltar · ELPAÍS.com in English



It's hard to imagine, isn't it. We think the funcionarios have a cushy job for life, and all our concern goes to the unemployed. But all over the country there are people in the same situation. Many local authorities are on the verge of bankruptcy, and the interest on their borrowing has to be paid before the wages of their staff.

Not to mention all the businesses and their employees who have done work for the ayuntamiento and not been paid.

The town halls run out of money because their budgets are based on predicted tax revenues from previous years, which for various reasons don't materialise; businesses going broke, properties remaining unsold, individuals unable to pay their IBI, etc. They are then stuck with spending commitments they can't pay for.

Why are they so bad at managing their budgets? Because unlike local councils in the UK which have a large permanent staff of accountants and financial experts to advise the elected councillors, here the work is largely done by the Mayor and the elected councillors themselves, who often lack the necessary skills to run what is essentially a large corporation.

There has to be a better way.
 

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Council employees in the border town of La Linea, who haven´t been paid since April, blocked access to Gibraltar for 30 minutes in a protest which involved burning tyres. They say they have run out of ways to get their plight noticed.

Protestors set fire to tires, block access to Gibraltar · ELPAÍS.com in English



It's hard to imagine, isn't it. We think the funcionarios have a cushy job for life, and all our concern goes to the unemployed. But all over the country there are people in the same situation. Many local authorities are on the verge of bankruptcy, and the interest on their borrowing has to be paid before the wages of their staff.

Not to mention all the businesses and their employees who have done work for the ayuntamiento and not been paid.

The town halls run out of money because their budgets are based on predicted tax revenues from previous years, which for various reasons don't materialise; businesses going broke, properties remaining unsold, individuals unable to pay their IBI, etc. They are then stuck with spending commitments they can't pay for.

Why are they so bad at managing their budgets? Because unlike local councils in the UK which have a large permanent staff of accountants and financial experts to advise the elected councillors, here the work is largely done by the Mayor and the elected councillors themselves, who often lack the necessary skills to run what is essentially a large corporation.

There has to be a better way.
Hi there, I bet the Mayor and the councillers have been paid.! Poor people....
 

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Council employees in the border town of La Linea, who haven´t been paid since April, blocked access to Gibraltar for 30 minutes in a protest which involved burning tyres. They say they have run out of ways to get their plight noticed.

Protestors set fire to tires, block access to Gibraltar · ELPAÍS.com in English



It's hard to imagine, isn't it. We think the funcionarios have a cushy job for life, and all our concern goes to the unemployed. But all over the country there are people in the same situation. Many local authorities are on the verge of bankruptcy, and the interest on their borrowing has to be paid before the wages of their staff.

Not to mention all the businesses and their employees who have done work for the ayuntamiento and not been paid.

The town halls run out of money because their budgets are based on predicted tax revenues from previous years, which for various reasons don't materialise; businesses going broke, properties remaining unsold, individuals unable to pay their IBI, etc. They are then stuck with spending commitments they can't pay for.

Why are they so bad at managing their budgets? Because unlike local councils in the UK which have a large permanent staff of accountants and financial experts to advise the elected councillors, here the work is largely done by the Mayor and the elected councillors themselves, who often lack the necessary skills to run what is essentially a large corporation.

There has to be a better way.
I think the problem lies more in the fact that local councils in Spain and the UK - everywhere in fact -are a strange hybrid of business with public accountability beyond that expected of a limited company or plc..
The electorate expects good local services but is unwilling to pay their true cost.
The Ayto in Estepona has a very large staff of all kinds of employees from accountants to refuse collectors. From what I have read, absenteeism is very high and the past PSOE administration tried to tackle this by paying bonuses to staff who regularly and punctually turned up to work!! The majority of public employees are not productive in the industrial sense and are of course funded entirely by the private and business taxpayer who are themselves now under pressure.
It's not really the function of elected councillors to run the Town Hall in the administrative sense - it's their job to take informed decisions based on the expressed wishes of the electorate and to plan for the medium and long-term based on informed advice from their officials. If the paid officials are political appointees and/or of low calibre the whole edifice will be ramshackle.
Estepona Ayto is now obliged to pay back with interest grants from the JDA and national Government which were incorrectly used. The level of incoming grant support has been cut as social security payments have not been made.
Solutions to the various problems of local governmentin the UK have included the total outsourcing of services to private business. I have no objection to this provided service delivery agreements are set at a very high standard.
The real lesson is that everything has a price that has to be paid by someone or other, in Spain, the UK....everywhere.
 
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