IS bureaucratic waffle all we're left with to resolve key issues?

I think we're all well aware of the deepening cuts to services being made by our cash-strapped Conservative-led SCC, and yet more are in the pipeline.

Not only are the county no longer prepared to pay for road grit in winter weather, but also our local getset children's services - already ground-down and struggling under the impact of national austerity measures - are to be reduced.

Ah, but help is readily to hand, I hear some of you say? Well, hardly!

The remedial measures suggested by SCC of 'better sign-posting to other services', 'making it easier for families to access information through Somerset Choices website' and 'continuing to develop multi-agency early help services across the county' are likely to prove grossly inadequate.

For a start, this kind of talk sounds pretty much like 'waffle' and - given that huge cuts are also now being made to our local CAB services where people could go for help with accessing services like these - the measures are unlikely to resolve the issues effectively.

In addition, it has been suggested that families set up self-help groups to fill the gaps and apply for support funding, but that funding is more than likely to lapse after the first year and, without expert help, schemes like this may well fail in short order.

As mentioned at the beginning, the core problem is that SCC is broke, largely for the self-inflicted ideological reason and Conservative mantra, that Council Tax charges must be kept down at all costs.

Well, this is exactly where an obsession with an empty ideology has not led to savings!

For example, a disastrous privatisation scheme has led to an extra £3.4 million of Council Tax-payer funds being loaned to the Discovery - learning disability services - contractor, as well as an exorbitant £900 per day being spent by SCC on an agency finance director to plug a gap, where many of the in-house and experienced staff have left, retired or been contracted out.

By contrast, elsewhere, other local authorities have wisely raised Council Tax enough to keep pace with inflation and are not in the same mess.

By and large, people are willing to pay a little extra for much-needed local services, as has been borne out very recently in Wiveliscombe, where the local council is set to levy a small surcharge to keep the public library open.