We’d all prefer to spend Christmas Eve at home with our families, but should all of the employees of Stoke-On-Trent City Council be treated to the day off as a thank you for all of their “hard work” at taxpayers’ expense?
This ‘thank you’ gift on behalf of the taxpayers of Stoke is estimated to cost around £600,000 (almost as much as the recent refurbishments!) and has been granted by the council’s chief executive, Steve Robinson.
Those who are required to work on Christmas Eve are allowed to cash their day in later in 2008.
Predictably, the website of The Sentinel newspaper has been flooded with comments, mostly by disgusted taxpayers’ who see their council’s service as utterly substandard and feel that this reward is undeserved. Most complainants argue that a this day off shouldn’t be paid, and one peacemaker interjects that his friends who work for Stoke Council just ‘mess about’ during the week before Christmas so they may as well have the time off... Unbelievable.
If evidence is needed of Stoke’s persistent incompetence then a quick look at this very blog and their catalogue of recent disasters should be enough to prove that this is a council with no reason to treat itself, let alone at local residents’ expense.
Believe it or not one of the reasons for this high praise is that sick-days have dropped from an average of 12.86 days per year to 11.57 days. Still a staggering number of days, and undoubtedly insufferable for most private sector employers.
Stoke also won the Royal Horticultural Society’s Wigan Cup for 2007, and as they stroll lazily into 2008 they can let this minor victory eclipse the fact they have been rated the worse council in the country. Hopefully in 2008 their unfortunate electorate will be quick to remind them at the ballot box of their utter failure to reign in spending or significantly improve badly needed frontline services.