SEEDA’s parting gift

September 09, 2011 1:44 PM

In 2007, The Argus asked whether taxpayers in Sussex were getting value for money from SEEDA, the South East England Development Agency. They returned to the topic last week, to coincide with the agency’s closure, and SEEDA’s apparent desire to make the most of it.

Staff are being given pay-offs totalling £5.7 million, an average of £51,000 each. To compound this, the organisation spent £17 million on three offices between 2005 and 2010. Throughout its existence, SEEDA and its counterparts across England have been dogged by accusations of complacency and incompetence. The organisation spent £350,000 on government credit cards during the last two years; their flexible friends funded extravagant trips around the world as well as hundreds of lunches using taxpayers’ money. Its former chairman even spent over £50,000 on travel in a single year.

Given its history, it comes as no surprise that SEEDA plan to splash even more cash as they close down. Despite the numerous failures to live up to the claim, one boss received a golden goodbye of at least £450,000. Another boss, chief executive Pam Alexander, has a £1.3 million pension to look forward to. Profligate in operation, and equally profligate when winding down.In 2007, The Argus asked whether taxpayers in Sussex were getting value for money from SEEDA, the South East England Development Agency. They returned to the topic last week, to coincide with the agency’s closure, and SEEDA’s apparent desire to make the most of it.

Staff are being given pay-offs totalling £5.7 million, an average of £51,000 each. To compound this, the organisation spent £17 million on three offices between 2005 and 2010. Throughout its existence, SEEDA and its counterparts across England have been dogged by accusations of complacency and incompetence. The organisation spent £350,000 on government credit cards during the last two years; their flexible friends funded extravagant trips around the world as well as hundreds of lunches using taxpayers’ money. Its former chairman even spent over £50,000 on travel in a single year.

Given its history, it comes as no surprise that SEEDA plan to splash even more cash as they close down. Despite the numerous failures to live up to the claim, one boss received a golden goodbye of at least £450,000. Another boss, chief executive Pam Alexander, has a £1.3 million pension to look forward to. Profligate in operation, and equally profligate when winding down.

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