Re: Just say no ...
I'm certain the money's there. Councils are often inefficient in many areas of non-discretionary spending, and invariably choose to fritter the discretionary element.
My local council bleats endlessly about austerity, and then happily pisses money up the wall on firework displays, music festivals, building a new swimming pool that the local swimming club have the total use of 90% of the time most members of the public might want to use it, running a loss making theatre, LGBT history month, and other shite.
Take non-discretionary activities: Council tax collections - some councils can do it for £4 a property, others spend over £25. "Core democratic services" vary from £12 per head to as much as £110 per head. Much of the higher range is down to councils that are too small to be efficient, but FFS, its within their gift to get a neighboring council to do a lot of these functions for them. And within the body of similar sized councils, there's still a three or fourfold range of efficiency both for those core services, and the council's own support services. My council has recently merged a lot of corporate and support services with a neighbouring borough to save money - that's good, but WTF was it OK to do the job wastefully for years?