Sunday, November 05, 2006

Thanet Council tinker rather than manage

News in this weeks Isle of Thanet Gazette that the chief excutive Richard Samuel has drawn up a consultation document suggesting axing two posts, in order to save over they £100,000 seemed to me, to be tinkering rather than managing a situation, in common with many local authorities Thanets management and administration has grown out of all proportion to the actual need.

A few weeks ago I suggested, that I could not see a great difference between a department dealing with Regeneration and one that deals with Renewal, nor do I quiet understand why we need 80 staff to deal with housing and council tax benefit, the 160 people in the customer services or even a resources department with a meagre 60 people.

I think Richard Samuel, and Sandy Ezekiel, in all honestly ought to be looking at fundamental change to work practices and staffing levels.

Sandy Ezekiel is reported as saying 'We want to keep to a 3.5 to 4.5 per cent maximum tax increase and we have to plan ahead, these are efficiency savings' , great as someone who doesn't get an automatic gift from taxpayers every year in the form of a wage increase. What I would like to see is a zero increase in council tax.

Businesses are generally ruthless, in controlling staff costs these days, so if the council are unable to make efficiency savings by curbing the number of staff to do menial tasks maybe they should consider as many banks and insurance companies do, outsourcing clerical functions abroad.

Why do public servants employed or elected see my wallet as some of limitless resource to be plundered just to keep their mediocre bureaucracy ticking over.

If there was a political will, by our local councillors, rising costs could be curbed by efficiency savings however Mr Samuel whom I understand to be an appointee/employee of the Council, according to the Gazette does not want to consider Council wide restructuring as this would cause too much disruption to the authority, well I say tough titties, current acceptance that we should pay an additional 4 to god knows what percent every year is frankly unsustainable.

I'm sure that when Sandy Ezekiel was campaining during the last local elections he claimed the tories had some big ideas, well I still waiting. Why not focus on giving me a zero increase on council tax.

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