Friday, 18 January 2013

How to save money - the Tory way!

Anyone seen the list of 50 measures councils in England are being told they must carry out to save money?  Laugh?  I nearly cried – well actually my jaw dropped for so long I thought I had lockjaw!

For those of you who would like the same experience (!) just click here for a link to this jolly document, entitled  ‘50 ways to save : Examples of sensible savings in local government’ put together at the behest of Eric Pickles. 

To be fair there are some things listed which I actually agree with, particularly those which apply to the upper levels in any council – use more video conferencing, avoid 1st class travel, look into supplying open source computer software etc.  But a lot of them, even when on the face of it they might seem reasonable, are going to be counterproductive eg don’t quite see how you can ‘Cut spending on … agency staff’ and ‘Introduce a recruitment freeze’.  (Am I missing something?!)

Sadly but not surprisingly many would result at diluting the pay & conditions of staff such as 'Close subsidised council canteens' and 'Hot-desking' – it’s ‘little’ things like these that may seem minor but almost certainly demoralise staff.  So in any case this won’t save money but instead will eventually add to costs through increased sick leave and staff turnover. 

And would any list compiled by Tories be complete without the obligatory good old union bashing with suggestions like 'Scrap trade union posts' and 'Charge for collecting trade union subscriptions'.

But I’ll finish the real humdinger ‘Stop translating everything into a foreign language’.  Just how well will this go down in English cities like Bradford and Leicester?  The words balloon and lead come to mind (let alone all the expletives!!)

So far this list only applies in England.  Let’s just hope & pray it doesn’t cross any borders!


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