Friday, January 26, 2007


Time and again we have in the past few weeks heard from our local political leaders how above-inflation increases are outside of their control and furthermore there is nothing that they can do. Today there is even a report in the Isle Thanet Gazette concerning Labour's betrayal of the needy, according to council leader Sandy Ezekiel there is said to be a shortfall of £122,000 from the government towards facilities grants for the disabled.

Now I am quite prepared to believe that new Labour have most likely short changed Tory councils, as did the Conservatives with Labour councils when they were last in power but that said, just exactly how careful are our local authorities.

If you have received this week's KM Extra for Thanet their front-page story relates to Thanet councils profligate policy of providing free car-parking in the Mill Lane multi-storey car-park for up to 576 staff and other worthies.

Assume the worst case scenario and staff are at work 46 weeks in the year this would be an annual cost per employee of £552 multiply this by 576 and the total cost works out at £317,952.

Now that figure maybe an exaggeration but according to the report it is difficult to find a parking space in this particular area, so inevitably there are additional costs, these are made up of businesses being unable to trade up to their full potential because council ''officers'' have taken all the parking spaces for potential customers, then there is the knock-on effect of lost revenue from empty business premises and of course no paying customers to purchase parking tickets.

Council employees are paid probably above the local average wage, and most could easily commute by bus or afford to pay their own parking costs as would anyone else working in town, maybe they could donate money saved from parking to the needy.

The councils ability to waste money fortunately is limited by their imagination, but just where does their madness finish, we've had chocolate fountains, your cash for their honours (see 21/1/07), and now this revelation a benefit in kind of £552 per employee (let's hope the Inland Revenue doesn't take an interest) god forbid the chief executive and other top nobs pay for their own parking.

So at the end of the day if Sandy Ezekiel and his merry band of Tory councillors were to pull their finger out, perhaps they could keep council tax increases in line with inflation.


  1. Are you blogging more lately...
    How is the blood on the tracks these days? Perhaps if you do have some extra time on your hands we could have "a day in the life of a track worker". I am sure it would be of interest to Councillors and local authority workers alike.

  2. Thank you not necessarily hostile

    I'm sure that a day in my life would be a thrill.

    I make it a policy to not talk about work the only exception was the comment relating to a statement I stumbled on mentioned in my last post.

    Two reasons first I don't wish to make you envious the exceptional working conditions only allowed to work in fine weather, always provided with correct equipment, safety is never compromised, employment practices that dont resemble some medieval feudal system, and some employers are in no way adept at sidestepping employment legislation and your work never involves a 5 hour or more round trip for which your unlikely to be paid.

    Second you wouldn't want or expect a colleague working in an office to give chapter and verse on your working day or to breach the trust between employer and employee.

    I'm sure the daily life of a track man discussing the pros and cons of shopping in Tesco as opposed to Sainsbury or their recipe for spaghetti bolognese would make a right riveting read as would the hours sweating with a shovel.

    Still I'm saving all that stuff for my uncompromising autobiography Volume 5 THE RAILWAY YEARS Subtitled “ Should I be doing this Shit at 50”

    I have been more prolific this last week since I'm in that sort of mood.

    Yes I'm sure local authority workers/councilors would be intrigued and they can satisfy that curiosity as I did in my case by being made redundant from my last job, this gave me an opportunity to get my PTS card at a government sponsored scheme (no longer available I believe) also not worrying about working in close proximity to trains or the third rail or overheads which particularly for children should be considered to be live and dangerous at all times .

    Since I work as part of a gang anything, any of has to say is between each other (just like office bitching it stays in the office), still if a publisher wishes to offer money.

    Finally I'm one of the few bloggers who has the balls or more likely stupidity to use my own name but maybe you could start your own blog