Monday, February 21, 2011

Will councils ever learn or even manage public money correctly?

Tameside council spent £5k on staff ‘walking lessons’

A council which may be forced to axe hundreds of jobs spent £30,000 on staff ‘lifestyle’ schemes – including almost £5,000 to teach workers how to walk safely. Tameside council, which last year warned 800 jobs could be lost over the next four years to save £100m, hired a company to identify six ‘urban walks’ near its offices – and conduct risk assessments to check they were safe. The firm printed 5,500 leaflets to show staff maps of the routes. Two officers received training on how to lead group walks. Shame they don't identify and fix all the potholes

Posted by mark @ 10:44 AM (1426 views)
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7 thoughts on “Will councils ever learn or even manage public money correctly?

  • I sometimes I wonder if these articles are just put up to infuriate me, in the same breath the council will argue against privatisation of services. There is no-way a profit/loss orientated organisation would stomach this

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  • I had to replace two suspension springs in one year due to potholes.

    Revolutionary idea here, repair them with the revenue from speed cameras.

    Road safety my ar??

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  • Big deal, £5k. Probably this is a defensive expenditure because of litigation culture – ie to avoid the very real risk of libel actions in case of an accident. Set against up to 20% budget cuts, it is pathetic but unsurprising that much of our media focusses on trivial anecdotes.

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  • Nick b

    this is merely the tip of a very large iceberg of how our councils waste YOUR money

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  • This is a little known scheme and a classic depends-how-you-look-at-it thing.

    GPs refer the obese and at risk to these schemes where moderately intense walks bring about well proven health improvements. Plenty of links via Natural England (why hem I don’t know!).
    Perhaps the sedentary should get off their own arrses but in reality many just don’t and end up costing YOU many more pounds in heart surgery and drugs down the line, not to mention the country in lost hours, depression etc. Many schemes exist that have had thousands go through them and come out fitter and happier.

    These schemes when well run can save a lot of money and more than pay for themselves in the end. Responsibility/morality issues are another story and of course these schemes can be delivered more efficiently in many cases eg. round my way there is a recruitment drive for volunteers (who risk assess themselves and have a disclaimer for anyone who does the walks). Still, someone needs to coordinate a little so could be one responsibility amongst many for one person at a council. No way needs a department or big outsourcing.

    This is a good idea and very big society; needn’t be a money spinner for anyone or a major drain on resources.

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