Today’s The Sentinel newspaper reports that workers from Staffordshire County Council and Stafford Borough Council will be treated to a free breakfast, plus numerous other taxpayer funded treats on Wednesday next week as part of continuing initiatives to make them greener and healthier.
The article states that:
“Employees of Staffordshire County Council and Stafford Borough Council will get to tuck in to bacon, sausage and egg this week if they commute to work using environmentally-friendly forms of transport.”
The press release for ‘The Green Commuters’ Breakfast” states that this event – part of Bike Week – also aims to “get people walking and cycling to work as a way of improving their health too”, and employees will also get a free swim, free gym pass to Stafford Leisure Centre and a personal health check. Presumably post fry-up.
There will also be an expert on-hand to give participants’ bikes a once over, and two cycle lead rides that morning (anyone can attend these, but only council workers will be eligible for free grub) leaving at 8am and 9am, though after a ride to work, a breakfast, bike servicing and personal health check god knows what time those who set off at 9am will actually get to work – definitely more of a ‘play day’ for them…
Despite the fact this is clearly costing the taxpayer once again (food, gym memberships, bike experts, health workers time, council workers time etc), and for no tangible benefit, perhaps the most worrying waste of money are the departments within each council set-up to orchestrate this type of public sector jolly.
This breakfast was organised collaboratively by Stafford Borough Council’s Sustainable & Healthy Communities Team (who’ve failed to see any contradiction in their choice to serve what many would recognise to be the least healthy plateful of food conceivable) and Staffordshire County Council’s Sustainable Travel Team. And these aren’t just officers, these are ‘teams’ – whole groups of people determined to justify their employment and if possible, grow their department and elevate its importance.
The bottom of the press release invites you to see what else the borough council’s Sustainable & Healthy Communities Team gets up to, and from organising ‘family bike rides’ to promoting Stafford as a ‘Fairtrade Town’ and organising annual ‘Green Awards’ they’ve certainly assured that the one thing they will be sustaining is their own costly presence at the council.