I don’t remember much of 1979. At the time of the general election I was eight years old, but I do remember the images of rubbish piled up in the street, and I remember Margaret Thatcher on the steps of 10 Downing Street. That’s about it. The rest of my knowledge of the 1970s has come from reading and watching documentaries.
It seems as if in 2010, the 1970s are starting to repeat themselves. There are public sector strikes and the reckless strike against British Airways by the UNITE union. The country’s finances are in an even more parlous state than they were in the 70s, and instead of being prudent with our cash and making each pound go further, there are many in the public sector who throw our tax pounds down the drain.
Every council across the country advertises non-jobs every month. If it’s not Equality and Diversity Officers, it’s Sustainable Communities Officers or a recent one highlighted by the TPA, a Head of Behaviour Change Programmes. Most members of the public haven’t a clue what the job titles mean, but they are aware it comes at a cost to them when they see how much these n0n-jobs pay.
Last week I highlighted how Sue Lockwood, the outgoing corporate resources director at the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, had a £364,205 payment to her pension fund approved by the cabinet. No-one has come up with a satisfactory reason for having a corporate resources director, but I do know it comes with a six-figure salary; plus employer national insurance contributions; plus very generous employer contributions to her council pension. Is it any wonder our council tax bills are so high?
A letter was printed last Saturday in the Hull and East Riding Mail which nicely sums it up:
East Riding Council would appear to be awash with money and confident of its financial future
I glean this from the March edition of East Riding New, in which 38 council jobs were advertised.
These include a Safe Communities Operational Strategy Officer with an annual salary of £26,276 and a Rural Partnership Support Officer on £19,126.
Need I say more...