Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Council bosses spent more than £36,000 creating a virtual town hall in an online computer game – onl

Council scraps £36,000 virtual town hall in Second Life

Tameside Council, in Greater Manchester, 'rented' an island in the virtual world of Second Life and built a computerised town hall, hoping it would encourage users to access local authority services. But the project has been abandoned after council chiefs admitted they could not justify the cost. Now the authority has been attacked by critics for wasting taxpayers' money at a time when the squeeze was on public finances.

Posted by mark @ 08:39 AM (1559 views)
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10 thoughts on “Council bosses spent more than £36,000 creating a virtual town hall in an online computer game – onl

  • Quiet right, but wasting taxpayers money is built into our existing monetary system. Ask Merv, Oh dear!

    We could all be far wealthier and indeed have more control of our lifes without the waste. Oh dear!

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  • It’s difficult to know what to say when you hear of councils squandering our taxes with these sorts of modish flights of fancy.

    This is just another example of why our local government system is not fit for purpose and requires a complete root and branch overhaul.

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  • Relevance to house prices ?

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  • 2. luckyjim said…Relevance to house prices ?

    May I suggest some deep thought luckyjim.

    It’s about tax/money waste if you need some help. Waste to some gain to others?

    If that doesn’t do it, there is a house price graph on this site that hasn’t moved very much in the last few years.

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  • Not much to do with house prices, unless you count this line:
    “It also handed over almost £10,000 to the company for rental of the virtual land…”

    tudorian,
    Everybody says they want change, but few people actually know what changes should be made. Put forward some constructive criticisms, don’t just ask for general “root and branch overhaul”.

    Beware of the common pitfalls:
    – Send in the auditors? (“Government wastes millions on outside consultants”).
    – Make every spending decision go through a committee? (“Council tied up in red tape”).
    – Directly elect local councillors? (We already do that).
    Constructive criticism is hard!

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  • @ drewster

    drewster said @3
    “Everybody says they want change, but few people actually know what changes should be made. Put forward some constructive criticisms, don’t just ask for general root and branch overhaul”

    I agree with you drewster, though sadly I cant really give an informed opinion … outside of my area of expertise I’m afraid.
    My only professional experience of local government is of attending endless meetings, having decicions delayed by red tape and proceedural nonsense and inter-derpartmental politics retarding any progress. My company gave up seeking council contracts several years ago.

    I think thaat the removal of party politics from local goverment would be a good start though

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  • The relevance to houseprices is

    you pay tax to council based on your house you live in, using some bizarre way of valuing the house, this money is then wasted en mass, then next year they come and ask you for more, if you don’t pay the tax you go to prison.

    Surely misallocation of taxes is or should be illegal.

    The whole country has been built on Labour BS without money only borrowing and raping the public of money

    I think gordon brown should be hauled in front of the public and let us loose with rotten fruit from his friends at tescos.

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  • The good thing being that had a central authority instructed all councils to do it, a fair bit more would have been wasted. More autonomy.

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  • tudorian,

    I don’t have the answers either. I’m inclined towards more autonomy, as spelled out in the book Big Bang Localism (2004). One major problem with local government today is the lack of scrutiny by the media. The BBC spends millions on reporting Westminster government decisions, but local council decisions are only reported by local papers, which nobody reads any more.

    Incidentally, you mention that “your company gave up seeking council contracts several years ago”. That’s probably a good thing, given the current shortage of council funding!

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  • Devolve more powers and funding from Central Government and Westminster Quangos to Local Government and the media attention will follow, along with proffessionals of caliber.

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