Weekly Waste Round-Up 68

Hope you guys are insured...

In the news this week:

Hull Council's insurance fiasco cost £200m- "Taxpayers face a massive bill to repair flood damage in Hull after the local council admitted that its properties were not insured. Officials at Kingston-upon-Hull City Council revealed that most of the city's 28,500 council houses, schools and other public buildings were not covered for water damage. Hull now faces a £200 million repair bill following the devastating flooding that hit Yorkshire last month. The decision not to insure council buildings goes against government policy." (Sunday Telegraph 22.7.07)

MoD's £39m pa spin doctors- "Defence chiefs are spending millions of pounds of taxpayers' money on 1,000 "spin doctors" in an attempt to boost the military's public image. Yet in a striking admission, an internal Ministry of Defence (MoD) document reveals that senior officials have "no clear idea" of who they are, whether they are making an impact, or their actual cost to the country. The report states: "We have no clear idea of the number of people involved in defence communications work or their costs. Over 1,000 people in MoD have a media/communications job code. This excludes many military personnel involved in communications work." The average salary for an MoD public relations official is approximately £39,000 - equating to an annual pay bill of £39 million for the 1,000 staff." ( Sunday Telegraph 22.7.07)

£1m lost on failed cash for honours probe- "Met Police chief Sir Ian Blair, is to probe the handling of the cash for honours inquiry amid concerns about its length and £1m cost. He will produce a report for the Metropolitan Police Authority, (MPA) which oversees the force... [Assembly member] Richard Barnes said: "It is most disturbing that the police should spend £1m on an investigation which lasted nearly 16 months and ending with the CPS laying charges against no one. We all need to be assured that the decisions reached were reached properly and without outside interference." (BBC 20.7.07)

Metronet collapse already costing £20-30m per week- "Since the Metronet consortium plunged into administration on Wednesday, Transport For London - the other party to the giant 30-year contract - has already had to find a loan of hundreds of millions of pounds, to pay for the administration process, which will cost £20-30m a week... it shows that where major public infrastructure projects are concerned, the risk can only ever be partly lifted off taxpayers' shoulders: a fact made explicit in the original contract, in which TFL guaranteed 95 per cent of the £2bn debt the five-member consortium took out... while the shareholders have walked away from the legal and financial nightmare that was the PPP, the one certainty seems to be that taxpayers - or tube-travellers - will be left with the rest of the bill." (Observer 22.7.07)

Total for week- £270m

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