Council Disconnect

November 15, 2010 3:34 PM

The latest issue of ‘Connect’ flopped through my letterbox, the council-produced ‘magazine for the people of Bath and North Somerset.’ Full of photographs of smiling council workers, it really is just an exercise in public sector self-congratulation. In this age of belt-tightening, do we really need this propaganda magazine? Costing £80,000, this sum of money would cover the £60,000 needed by ‘Off the Record’ to recruit 40 advisors for vulnerable young people.
 
Bath-TPA-small Surely, any important information in this publication should be passed on to the pages of the Bath Chronicle? Local newspapers are the voice of local democracy and should be first with any council announcements. Still, if B&NES council managed to bury its consultation on whether Bath citizens wanted a directly elected mayor on its website, and the Bath Chronicle only found out about it a day before it was to close, what chance is there of that? By the way, the council received only 48 responses to its consultation: 43 of those wanting a change to the current system.
 
Congratulations, however, to the council for giving us a consultation on public spending. My advice would be to start with cutting the wages and pensions of the council’s top managers. Last year, there were five senior officers earning over £100,000. That included the Strategic Director of Children’s Services on £155,102, the Strategic Director of Support Services on £134,506 and the Strategic Director of Customer Services on £136,378. Surely, these bureaucratic posts could be filled at a lower cost to the taxpayer? And, by the way, can some one please tell me why it is that Bath councillors of all parties continue to vote increases to the titanic pay of our chief executive, standing last year at £211,959?
 
Now is the time to express our concerns in the public consultation announced last week in the Bath Chronicle. Oh dear, the deadline has already passed…
 
Tim Newark, Bath TaxPayers’ Alliance


The latest issue of ‘Connect’ flopped through my letterbox, the council-produced ‘magazine for the people of Bath and North Somerset.’ Full of photographs of smiling council workers, it really is just an exercise in public sector self-congratulation. In this age of belt-tightening, do we really need this propaganda magazine? Costing £80,000, this sum of money would cover the £60,000 needed by ‘Off the Record’ to recruit 40 advisors for vulnerable young people.
 
Bath-TPA-small Surely, any important information in this publication should be passed on to the pages of the Bath Chronicle? Local newspapers are the voice of local democracy and should be first with any council announcements. Still, if B&NES council managed to bury its consultation on whether Bath citizens wanted a directly elected mayor on its website, and the Bath Chronicle only found out about it a day before it was to close, what chance is there of that? By the way, the council received only 48 responses to its consultation: 43 of those wanting a change to the current system.
 
Congratulations, however, to the council for giving us a consultation on public spending. My advice would be to start with cutting the wages and pensions of the council’s top managers. Last year, there were five senior officers earning over £100,000. That included the Strategic Director of Children’s Services on £155,102, the Strategic Director of Support Services on £134,506 and the Strategic Director of Customer Services on £136,378. Surely, these bureaucratic posts could be filled at a lower cost to the taxpayer? And, by the way, can some one please tell me why it is that Bath councillors of all parties continue to vote increases to the titanic pay of our chief executive, standing last year at £211,959?
 
Now is the time to express our concerns in the public consultation announced last week in the Bath Chronicle. Oh dear, the deadline has already passed…
 
Tim Newark, Bath TaxPayers’ Alliance


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