Weekly Waste Watch- 74

Let's just keep this between ourselves

In the news this week-

Labour's union sweetheart deal costs us £4.468bn- "The cost to business of Labour's backroom deals with its union backers now runs into the billions... the true cost of the so-called Warwick Agreement, signed by Tony Blair to secure £8m of union funding and support ahead of the last general election, is only now becoming apparent. The Government estimates that one pledge - to increase statutory holiday entitlement to 28 days, in a series of phases starting from October 1 - will cost business up to £4.4bn a year. Additional maternity and paternity leave and pay, introduced in April, is already costing up to £58m a year... Taxpayers have also forked out £10m for a union modernisation fund to meet a separate pledge to "work in partnership with strong, modern trade unions and to help unions grow". (Telegraph 11.9.07)

£90,000 wasted on Stalinist bulldozer survey- "FURIOUS residents have clashed with the council after branding a development survey for their estate as a shambles and misleading. The consultation on plans to bulldoze homes and gardens to make way for new housing on the Barnsbury Estate in Woking... took six months to complete and cost taxpayers £90,000. Council officers will now consult residents again, at yet more public expense, after it was accepted the consultation did not reflect the desires of the people... Growing pressures from Westminster to up the number of new homes being built in the south are causing dismay in communities such as Barnsbury... Cllr Bellord said: “We have central government dictating the terms and flexing their muscles with their vision of the south east. They’re happy to tell us what we need. Stalin is alive and well in central UK government.” (Woking News and Mail 13.9.07)

£98m runaway road project- "Four years ago, the Welsh Assembly Government pledged “over £30m” for the Porth Relief Road in the Rhondda but, unveiling the road yesterday, First Minister Rhodri Morgan revealed the final cost was £98m. The figure – which works out at £21m a mile – had never previously been quoted by the Assembly Government, Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) council or builders Costain. In 2003, Economic Development minister Andrew Davies said: “We are investing over £30m in this road development which will bring environmental benefits and improve access to employment opportunities.” In the programme for yesterday’s ceremony, the cost was put at £65m. Even yesterday morning, it was still being reported elsewhere that the final cost was £85m, but by the time Mr Morgan addressed representatives from the various companies involved in the scheme the price had soared to £98m." (South Wales Echo 4.9.07)

Lavish lunches cost £25,000- "The man charged with ensuring public money is used properly has spent almost £25,000 of taxpayers' cash on dining out in the past three years. Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office (NAO), has run up an average restaurant bill of £154 during 160 meetings since 2004. Details of his lavish expenses, which were revealed after a Freedom of Information request, come just months after it was disclosed that Sir John had spent £336,000 on a series of trips to destinations around the world." (Mail 16.9.07)

Total for week- £4,566,115,000

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