... our side of the Chamber was pretty incredulous at such an insinuation - not just because its a pile-of-arrant-nonsense, but because its nothing short of a blatant mis-truth.
... and I've now unearthed the 2004 briefing note from Officers which confirms in black-and-white:
"The Education Budget
A budget breakdown for the past five years (Revenue and Capital) is enclosed. Key investments are as follows:
- Revenue has increased by 67% over the past 5 years
- Capital Investment over 5 years £301.96 million"
Yes - that's a 67% increase in Revenue Budget from 1999 through to 2004 ... given that Revenue Budgets CONTINUED TO GO UP in the following 3-years, then it is perfectly correct to state that revenue expenditure on schools increased by over 67% throughout the previous two Labour terms of office (1999-2007).
But hey, portraying a '+67% increase' as a 'reduction' is all part of a days work for the current Council Administration :-(
Frankly - I struggle to believe a word they say.