Saturday, October 03, 2009

Conservative Thanet Council hasn’t got a pot to **** in

According to the this weeks Gazette, Thanet council under Conservative stewardship are desperate not to spend a penny on conveniences.

Apparently after just a year of recession, Thanet council is so poorly managed that money for basic services is running out fast and councillors were to discuss this last Thursday panic measures to save money.

Basically they’ve been caught short and cannot afford basic sanitation, just a few months after sneaking fat pay increases to senior officers on the preposterous assertion that they were working harder, righteo.

The upshot was a proposal, to bung local pubs and restaurants a few quid to allow the public to take a leak, I’m not entirely sure how that would work, would you want to eat a meal or have a drink in pub or restaurant that has a constant stream of shoppers using the toilets.

Perhaps one of my readers could let us know how that one panned out. Apparently they might save a hundred thousand by closing town centre toilets, which is probably less than Richard Samuel’s (Chief Executive) salary, really all you need to ask yourself is which would you miss most.

Thanet council have got to start saving money on staff, its time Sandy Ezekiel and Martin Wise took control of the council and its finances rather than posturing from time to time for instance I understand that TDC assistant Chief Exec is leaving, here’s my top tip, don’t bother to replace him, the public would not notice or care but they would be p*ssed off if they can’t have a pee.


  1. Tony

    I don't think you grasp how very serious a financial position the public sector is in at the moment.

    With government close to £200 billion in the red, we really haven't seen the start of the economy measures that will sweep through local and central Government departments over the next two years.

    Nobody wants to close toilets or anything else come to that but the emphasis across the country now is very much on providing funding for priority and essential services into the future and without having to raise council taxes by an unacceptable level.

  2. Well wake up an smell the coffee Simon as you know its only a few months ago you lot were dishing big increases to the top knobs.

    I understand how serious the situation is but if your cutting basic services now at what point do you start the real job of cutting the wage bill.

  3. Simon, since when have public toilets not been "essential services"???

  4. Simon has consistently blogged the true prognosis for the financial mire the country is in.

    Slugger O Toole blog a couple of years ago ran a thread on it. That we need a 700 billion pot to service the public sector pension requirement. That so much employment in Ulster is dependent on public funding that the public pension requirement for Ulster exceeds its whole economy.

    The fact is we created a huge number of artificial jobs for people with artificial qualifications but whose demands for salaries and pensions are far from artificial.

    Just a little sign of our times. The church hall where we do ju jitsu on Wednesday evenings. That church does pensioner and homeless lunches on Thursdays. Another church does Fridays and so on. The Pastor is foreseeing the return of the days of the soup kitchens.

    We donate surplus allotment produce.

    I am afraid ideas like pay a one off insurance premium of eight grand to assure free care in old age are symptomatic that Tory leaders have no grasp of the situation.

    Who cooks the lunches at the Church ? Well two 16 year old chavs the probation service despairs of. And the two lads are knocking out stuffed kohlrabi, damson crumble. Pastor says they are two Jamie Olivers.

    And there too is another sign. Another sign of the ordinaty folk taking on public sector duties free, out of a sense of service, and doing a better job than the paid public service.

    With the Dane Valley fiasco going on etc it is refreshing to see this thread and a bit of relevant debate blogged.

  5. As I get older and my bladder most likely weaker this really is an essential service.

    I see the toilets in the centre of Margate as a priority although if necessary us gents could take a quick discreet leak in the stair well of the near by mill lane car park which will bother nobody since its only used by TDC staff

  6. It's simply a matter of cost. Divide six hundred or so public services by the budget available. Now slash the grant from central Government that makes most of this possible so that you are showing a six figure deficit and ask who pays to keep the toilets open or more importantly where you cut services so that you can?

    I've said before, that "Yes" we approved some salary increases to bring them up to par with other authorities but we saved over £250,000 by increasing responsibilities and removing a tier of management at the same time.

    We don't make this stuff up. Everything is examined extremely carefully and the challenge we face is a stark one. Today the BBC were quoting a shortfall of £175 billion on the optimistic side but local Government believes it's closer to £190 billion, a staggering figure!

    Thanet is in fact luckier than other authorities because we have husbanded our finances so well. Some local authorities in Kent are now facing the prospect of bankruptcy in the next 18 months unless they take unprecedented cost-cutting measures.

    So I have woken-up and smelled the coffee and with a £5 million or so budget of my own, understand very clearly what's required of me in order to balance the books and maintain our 'essential' services.