Jul 2010 01

It has been reported by several newspapers this week that Broomfield hospital in Essex is looking for a 'Turnaround Director' – a cost-cutter if you like, someone who will be paid up to £1,000 a day, nearly double the salary of the prime minister and nearly seventeen times the pay of a newly qualified nurse.

6a00d83550306a69e20134846f5e24970c-320wi Last year the UK spent some £91 billion on health, a department that has seen dramatic rises from the £35 billion spent on it in 1997. It is perhaps the most profligate department in the whole of Whitehall with many stories of waste and extravagance. Yet in a time when there are near 25% cuts across the board, Mid Essex Hospitals NHS Service Trust (no doubt in the spirit of value for money) thought that bringing in a hugely expensive consultant would fix everything. It is the people on the frontline who know where the waste is and it is these very people the managers should consult if they wish to eliminate it – although I think many workers at Broomfield would suggest firing the Turnaround Director for a start!

But for now we will focus our attention on the plethora of non-jobs floating around the job sites this week. Northamptonshire County Council is in search of a ‘Business Change Manager’ (£34,549 – £38,961) to help them implement £3.6 million of cuts by managing the difficulties brought about by ‘change’. Savings have already been identified, why not save another thirty-four grand by just telling staff to get on with it? Meanwhile the borough of Lambeth is asking for a ‘Democratic Services Officer’ (£25,515 – £33,306 pa) who will ‘advise on and support different methods of community involvement’ fully utilizing the ‘specially designed democratic engagement tool[s]’ at their disposal. Obviously taxpayers now need to fund their own advisor to help them find their democratic voice.

Without further ado I will now move on to this week’s winner – based in the lovely spa town of Harrogate whose council are advertising for a…..

“Beauty Therapist”

£15,725 – £16,830 per annum

The Turkish Baths & Health Spa is one of only three Victorian Baths currently operating in England. Recent improvements have added up to date spa and treatment facilities as well as enhancing and refurbishing the baths themselves.

The Turkish Baths & Health Spa achieved the finals at the British Beauty & Spa Awards 2009 for the category of Day Spa of the Year.

You will be fully qualified Beauty Therapist with experience of working in high profile salons or spas. You will be working as part of a team on a rota system, which includes evening and weekends. It would be an advantage if you were trained in any of the following product houses: Germaine de Capuccini, Comfort Zone, Jessica Nails and Fake Bake Gold. This is not essential, as training will be given.

For more information please contact Graham Holman, Manager, on 01423 556736

Immediately this is a slight break with tradition – there is nothing wrong with people who work in the leisure and beauty industry, but a council-owned spa is not really in local taxpayers’ interests.

Why is it still in public ownership? By definition public enterprises are not-for-profit – they just stumble along costing lots of money to run, rarely breaking even, and don’t usually re-invest their ‘operational surplus.’ If the baths were taken out of the feather-bedded world of the public sector into the real-world private sector, than perhaps the profits could be used to re-invest into the business, expand operations and most importantly create more jobs (and give their website some much needed beauty treatment – which was last done, it seems, in 2004).

Like many local councils, Harrogate’s operations have become a bit unsightly – I suggest a pluck here and wax there (complete with manicure) will make resident’s council tax bill look that little more attractive.

  • Carole Jones

    Regarding the Turkish Baths in Harrogate, you may be interested to know its extremely well run, very professional and makes money – this goes back into the pot and helps fund the many services that would struggle for funding otherwise. Its good to see the Baths being run well making money for the community!! I wish more councils could do just that!

  • A bit of much needed balance

    Is a beauty therapist a non job whether in the public or private sector?

  • Fact Checker from Harrogate

    The facts about Harrogate Baths from the local paper
    Surely localism means locals decide – not the unelected TPA
    Huge cash boost for Turkish Baths revamp
    Published Date: 21 March 2003
    THE COMPLETE restoration of the Turkish Baths has been secured thanks to a massive Lottery grant.
    Plans to restore the buildings to their full Victorian splendour are to go ahead after a £447,500 grant was awarded to the scheme by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
    The successful bid by Harrogate Borough Council will pay most of the costs towards the £5
    96,700 second phase of the redevelopment, the Royal Baths developers have already contributed work valued at £10,000 and the council has promised to fund the £139,200 remainder.
    The money will pay for the total restoration of the Turkish Baths themselves, including specialist tiling, restoration of the mosaic flooring, painting to restore the original colour scheme, repairs to the carved woodwork and the replacement of some plant and equipment.
    The first £420,000 phase of the restoration finished in February last year, creating a new entrance off Parliament Street, a new reception and café, adding five new ground floor and two first floor treatment rooms, a spa pool, specially adapted toilets and a lift to the first floor.
    By the restoration is completed, nearly £1m will have been spent on the Baths, which are one of only three Victorian Turkish Baths currently operating England.
    Coun Margaret-Ann de Courcey-Bayley, Cabinet Member for Resources and former Chairman of the Royal Baths Project Working Group, welcomed the news.
    “To say I am absolutely delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has approved our grant is an understatement and we are extremely grateful for this support,’ she said.
    “This is the final piece in the financial jigsaw puzzle to save the Grade II listed Royal Baths building which includes the Turkish Baths and Spa.
    “Merely maintaining the Royal Baths building was costing the council £250,000 a year with no possibility of us ever having the cash to restore it ourselves. Many local authorities around the country are in the same position and are having to seek similar partnership deals to secure graded buildings, which are difficult to re-market for current day uses.
    “With the new piazza at the rear of the building linking the car park to the refurbished Montpellier Quarter, it has just totally opened up this part of the town. People are once again promenading in and around this lovely old building.
    “We now have a building, which has been totally restored and extended, in a multi-million partnership deal with the private sector – and at a very low cost to the ratepayer. The building is seeing as much use now as it did in its Victorian hey day and it is a treat to see so many people getting so many different pleasures from it.
    “Saving our Royal Baths has been a long and drawn out process with many promises and expressions of interest never coming to fruition. But, at last, we have fulfiled our restoration promise and the future of the Royal Baths building is secured”.
    Ian Carstairs, Chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Committee for Yorkshire & the Humber, also said: “Harrogate’s Turkish Baths are a distinctive and unique part of Yorkshire’s heritage and attract visitors not only from the locality, but all over the world.
    “We’re delighted that, as a result of this restoration, more people will be encouraged to visit the Baths and find out about their local heritage through an imaginative programme of activities.”