Councils waste half a million on 'status'

September 11, 2007 11:51 AM

TPA Activist Barbara Lockwood, who also runs her local campaign ‘Folk Against Council Tax’, has sent us a story about Norwich City and Norfolk County Council’s waste of half a million pounds over a battle to change Norwich City council to unitary status.

A breakdown of Norfolk County Council’s costs reveals just how wasteful the council has been:

£105,313 on market research, publications and “external support”.
£204,356 of office time, £153,022 of which is time office staff should have spent on official county council work and not responding to Norwich City Council’s bid for unitary status.

Compare this with Norwich City Council’s costs:

£130,657 on “consultants”
£59,048 for a “full time project manager” (in itself a non-job)
£54,700 on research including consultations, surveys and focus groups
£9,332 on “expenses” including “travel, consultation meetings and refreshments” (and I doubt they picked a can of coke and sandwich buffet option)

That’s over half a million pounds of taxpayers’ money wasted on bureaucratic restructuring so politicians can squabble over which has more power, the city councillors or county councillors.  Does it matter which one ultimately has the power of the purse - they both seem quite talented at wasting our money.

It’s up to us to stand with Norfolk’s taxpayers.  Barbara Lockwood has written into the Norwich Evening News, she writes in a lot and should be commended for a long and sustained campaign for tax fairness.  We should do the same!  So here are the contact details for the Norfolk Evening News and the Eastern Daily Press.  Write into them and shame Norwich City and Norfolk COunty Council for wasting much taxpayer’s money:

Letters Editor

Norwich Evening News
Prospect House,
Rouen Road,
Norwich,
NR1 1RE,
United Kingdom
Email: eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

And

Letters Editor
Eastern Daily Press
Prospect House,
Rouen Road,
Norwich,
NR1 1RE,
United Kingdom
Email: edpnewsdesk@archant.co.uk

Do specify these are letters for the respective local papers.  We’ve had our activists get letters in papers before from these ‘rapid reaction’ campaigns, so give it a try.  The more we make waste an issue, the more people will listen and join our campaign.

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