Tuesday 31 August 2010

More Costly Empire Building at Barnet Council

Delegated Powers reports can be a goldmine of information. One of the latest shows that the Council is set on spending an additional £523,000 per annum setting up a Commercial Directorate. In addition to the £180,870-£194,960 paid to the Commercial Director, the £137,010-£147,600 paid to the Assistant Director and the £65,900-£70,730 paid to the recently appointed Strategic Planning Advisor, the council want to appoint a further 8 people costing a further £523,000 a year. In total the new directorate will cost around £900,000 a year to run. At a time when the Council is cutting services it seems obscene that so much money is being spent on back office management. Ironically the report also states that:
The Corporate Plan 2010-13 states that “we will continue to drive costs out of the Council through transforming our internal organisation” and that we will focus on “making sure we get the best value from resources across the public sector, including our people and our assets.” Sorry guys but this looks more like driving costs up than driving costs out.

Tuesday 24 August 2010

A contract a day keeps consultants in pay

Anyone who reads the Council's websites will see that under the delegated reports section there seem to be a number of consultants contracts being let, all of which relate to Future Shape. One of the latest is the Implementation Partner contract valued at in excess of £500,000. Another is the Design Partner for the Prototyping Project or perhaps the Options Appraisal for the Development and Public Health Services Project.
The problem is that all the interesting stuff is kept hidden away in the exempt reports so it is very hard to judge exactly what is going on. All I know is that a lot of money is being spent with consultants at a time when front line services are being cut.

Monday 16 August 2010

Council backs down on allowances!

On the Barnet Council website today http://www.barnet.gov.uk/press_releases.htm?id=2263it looks like people power has won the day and that the Leader Lynne Hillan is backing down on Councillors' allowances. Thanks to all people who signed the various petitons including the Residents' Association of Barnet petition.