At Tuesday night’s council meeting, Cr. Pilling requested an officer’s report on the enormous charge increases for 3 year old kindergartens. He stipulated that the report should also provide comparisons with prices at neighbouring councils. Pilling also expressed concern that the Glen Eira charges were at the ‘steep end’ of charges, especially in comparison to other councils. This request for a report was passed unanimously.

Pilling should be commended for his request and concern. However, we remind readers that we raised this matter as soon as the draft budget was published. We pointed out that by June 2012, parents of 3 year olds would be paying an extra $155 per week for their toddlers to attend a council run kindergarten. There was also a major story in the Leader which we featured. Alarm bells were thus ringing loud and clear months and months ago. So, why wasn’t this ‘concern’ expressed loudly and clearly at budget time – or even prior to then when plans were first being drawn up? Why is the request for a report put in months later, when the charges are already set in concrete? Perhaps Cr. Pilling did raise the matter in Assemblies. We don’t know. But the end result was that the budget was passed unanimously with a few minor adjustments (ie. 2 less sports grounds redone and  a rate drop to 6.5% instead of 6.95%).

So, we are now in the position of waiting for the Officer’s report – which could take months. And what will this actually achieve anyway? Will it bring charges down this year, next year? Will it actually make any difference to anyone? We can only conclude that if Cr. Pilling and others were so concerned about the exorbitant increase then they should have rejected the budget when they had the opportunity. To cry crocodile tears now is far too late.  And an Officer’s Report will fix nothing. It will be ‘noted’, and most probably go into the dustbin of history.