Posted tagged ‘christmas’

Local Government Christmas Carols

December 22, 2011

Tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy

In what has become a tradition (well, a tradition of one year and a bit) today is the release of our much anticipated Local Government Christmas Carols.

Please do enjoy them and if you can think of any better ones why not write them below, tweet us at @welovelocalgov (#localgovcarols) or drop us an e-mail at: welovelocalgovernment@gmail.com

Twelve Days of Christmas

On the Twelfth day of Christmas Local Government gave to me:

Twelve waste operatives collecting
Eleven social workers helping
Ten children officers protecting
Nine housing officers housing
Eight carers caring
Seven librarians inspiring
Six adult educators teaching
Five non jobs
Four planners planning
Three road engineers rebuilding
Two managers managing
And a Chief Executive for this year at least

Away in a Manger

Away with the fairies, no cash for our work,
The DCLG say no fight they will shirk.
The stars in loc’l gov’nment will all do their best,
To deliver what’s needed and still do the rest.

The papers are screaming ‘bout all that we waste,
But those who know better simply see their haste.
I love local government and the effort they make,
And the chance to say thank you is one that I’ll take.

O come all ye faithful

O come, all ye officers,
Pension-less and stress-ed.
O come ye, O come ye to protest march.
Come and picket them,
Fighting for our pittances;
O you can stick your gold plate,
O you can shove your gold plate,
O ram that golden plated comment, right up your <censor>

We three kings

We three kings of localgov are
Bearing cuts, aspersions we cast.
Waste and slander, we demand more
Buck up your act real fast.

O DCLG, defend with might,
The taxpayer’s and their bin collection rights,
Forget to defend and simply attack,
Your charges’ work; they can’t be right.

Good King Wencelas

Mr Dilnot last looked out
On our social care system
When the cuts lay round and ‘bout
And the needs were rising

Brightly was that re-port praised
For long term thought and planning
Then the Gov-ment came on board
And progress was withdrawn

Silent Night

Scrutiny Night, Holy Night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Scrutiny Chair and Officer
Democracy starts to be enacted
Scrutinise until you find the fault
Scrutinise until you find the fault

We three kings

We three Officers of undistinguished ethnicity,
Bearing work for contracts
Bins and swimming pools, social care and benefits
We no longer do but contract out to others to complete

Jingle Bells

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells
Jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to ride on a one horse open sleigh

FoI Request: ‘Can the council tell me how many licenses have been granted for one horse open sleighs, what the processing time was for each license and what quota of fun was had by each licensee?’

Once in Royal Davids City

Once in royal Davids city,
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her Baby,
In a manger for His bed:

Mary then left that location and George Clark from Channel 4 added it to his empty homes database

We wish you a merry Christmas

We wish you a Winterval,
We wish you a Winterval,
We wish you a Winterval,
And a happy financial year!

Welovelocalgovernment is a blog written by UK local government officers. If you have a piece you’d like to submit or any comments you’d like to make please drop us a line at: welovelocalgovernment@gmail.com

That was the localgov week that was

December 16, 2011

New week; same picture!

There’s only one week until Christmas, one week until Christmas! At WLLG towers we have brought out some tinsel, a few mince pies and a little mulled wine; however, that hasn’t stopped us from casting an amused eye over the world of local government this past week. Here are our picks:

Are you interested in the future of Local Government? Do you have 2 sides of good ideas that you could contribute to a new commission looking at local government? If so you might be interested in checking out the Civic Enterprise UK Commission on the Future of Local Government.  As the site explains:

In order to produce practical recommendations that create a blueprint for local government we need to build a broad evidence base.  We hope to bring the concept of Civic Enterprise to life through real world examples and cases where the challenges of working in new ways have been overcome.  This means that we need to hear from any individual, business, public sector agency, third sector organisation, social enterprise or interested party that can share their experience with us.

If that’s not a call to action then I don’t know what is. Do get involved.

On a similar theme, we do like to plug good things in local government and the LGIU Councillor Awards 2012 are one such good thing. The nominations are now open in the following categories:

We’re off to nominate someone now (by clicking here) and we’d encourage you to do so as well. Go on, you know you want to!

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The Lazy Journalists Tackle Christmas (and other times of joy)

December 8, 2011

Freedom (to ask questions about nativity plays)

It seems like a lifetime ago that I sat at my computer and drafted a post entitled: ‘The Freedom of Lazy Journalism Act.’

The post provocatively claimed that whilst the FOI act is in general a good thing:

The real problem is that many of the requests we receive are not from concerned citizens but from seriously lazy and, dare I say, incompetent journalists.

I continued:

These so-called ‘journalists’ waste hours of council time (ironically often searching for examples of council staff wasting their time) and never are they actually searching for information or investigating a story.

Instead, they pre-write their stories and then use the FoI Act to trawl for a fact or two that will justify their prejudices or exaggerations.

Now, in hindsight I admit that perhaps I went a little too far (and the post received a bumper crop of comment and criticism) but last week I went out for my bi-annual drink with a few friends who work in FoI and other similarly related fields.

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On the ninth day of Christmas our bloggers gave to me

December 31, 2010

Celebrities as Christmas items:

  • Holly Willoughby
  • Mis-teltoe Dynamite
  • George Os – (Baby is) – Born
  • Christmas Carol Vorderman
  • Christmas Tree-vor Philips
  • Howard (F) Lights
  • David Beck-Ham
  • Pigs in Blan-Cate Blanchett
  • Tur-Keeley Hawes
  • Mince (pie) Cable

This game might look silly (it really is) but it can be quite fun: Please add some more below…

On the first day of Christmas our bloggers gave to me

December 23, 2010

Some Local Government jokes

Q. Why won’t sharks attack Public Sector consultants?
A. Professional courtesy

There were two public realm service facilitators working for the city council; one would dig a hole, the other would follow behind him and fill it in. They worked furiously all day without rest, one guy digging a hole, the other guy filling it in again.

An onlooker was amazed at their hard work, but couldn’t understand what they were doing. So he asked the hole digger, “I appreciate the effort you’re putting into your work, but what’s the story? You dig a hole and your partner follows behind and fills it up again.
The hole digger wiped his brow and sighed, “Well, normally we’re a three-man team, but the bloke who plants the trees is sick today.”

Q. How many Eric Pickles does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A. None, they are too busy screwing over the public sector.

A proposed council tax-evaluation policy will mean reassessment of current house values which will mean they will charge us more if we live in a nice area. That ought to mean discounts for those of us who live in rough areas.

There is a huge council house in our street. The extended family is run by a grumpy old woman with a pack of irritable dogs. Her car isn’t taxed or
insured and doesn’t even have a number plate, but the police still do nothing. Her bad-tempered old man is notorious for racist comments. A shopkeeper blames him for ordering the murder of his son and his son’s girl-friend, but nothing has been proved.

All their kids have broken marriages except the youngest, who everyone thought was gay. Two grandsons are meant to be in the Army but are always out partying in nightclubs. They are out of control.

I hate living near Windsor Castle…

Q. What’s the difference between a rooster and consultants?
A. The rooster clucks defiant…

With mortgage rates being as they are, I recently decided to renovate my house rather than move, as it’ll be cheaper. However this makes a lot of mess, so I decided to hire a skip from the Council. I called them up and asked for one, but I don’t think they understood. They told me I can cartwheel around the estate for all they care, and that I don’t need their permission.

Two weeks later a self-risk assessment form for skipping and forward momentum activities dropped through my door though.

Council Christmas Carols

December 21, 2010

It’s official: Christmas is here.  The X-factor final has been and gone, the Coca Cola advert has appeared on the tele and we have all been and gone from our local government Christmas parties.  This year we thought we’d bend our minds and those of some of our friends to the task of creating some very special Christmas Carols which have been tweaked for local government just a little.

And if we forget to say it:  Happy Christmas to all in the public sector!

“Jingle Bells”
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh
Oh jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way
Subject to Health & Safety checks, a Trading Standards license, and undertaking an EqIA

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Christmas

December 17, 2010

We love local government and we also love Christmas!

Christmas is a funny time in all workplaces; and none less so than in Local Government. Here are five things to look out for:

1) Christmas decorations from the last century. Strangely this was happening even before the age of austerity taught us all that recycling was better than aimlessly spending money on such cheerfulness. Often, this is because the decorations have been bought by one or two members of staff and to throw them away would basically be an insult to them. I love this sort of kitsch-ness so would happily use the decorations for the next century: maybe I’ve been in local government too long!

2) Christmas parties will be organised with teams that you probably don’t know and with people you’ve never met. The key determinant here is who the manager (or party organiser) gets along with.  Thus parties involving IT, legal and adults social care are not uncommon. Again, I find this strangely refreshing; am I getting old?

3) Because all people are paying for their own way in these parties there will be disagreements about the type of event should be organised. This will vary from those who want a few drinks and some peanuts in the local boozer all the way through to those who want to do cocktails, dinner, drinks, a show and then some trendy nightclub which we’re all too old for. Inevitably we end up meeting in the middle either through negotiation or because one person simply takes control and decides for us. I prefer it that way!

4) Every member of our team will bring in sweets, crisps, cakes, biscuits, oranges, mince pies, breakfast and any other food with over 100 calories per bite and then share them. Equally, every member will say constantly that they are over-eating but somehow each day the pile of food will be gone ready to be replaced the next morning.

5) There will be a general feeling of goodwill amongst staff. Even this year when nearly everyone I know is under the threat of redundancy Christmas decorations, food and parties have helped lift the spirit of us all. And long may it continue!

We love Christmas!

Holidays are coming… (with some politics thrown in)

November 29, 2010

A word map of Eric Pickles' mind?

This blog tries very hard to be apolitical. That is not to say that we are uninterested in politics, nor that we don’t discuss political issues; it’s just that we try our best to stay clear of the ‘Political’ debate between the Westminster parties. We also don’t discuss religion or work with animals or children. It’s just easier that way.

In light of this we have tried our best to treat Eric Pickles and the coalition with a sort of equanimity; taking the rough with the smooth and not getting too uppity about either. (For evidence of this see our discussion of the Audit Commission abolition and CSR and for evidence of the opposite see a guest post on the Child Benefit changes.

However, this weekend Mr Pickles has got me simply too upset to ignore. It’s not as if he was in my good books anyway; in the past week the rather talented Allister Hayman from the Local Government Chronicle revealed that the poorest Local Authorities were going to face the biggest cuts in their budget with some of the most deprived areas in Britain receiving cuts of 37%. What made it worse was that some of the richest areas in Britain were to receive increases; yes, you read that correctly, increases in the amount of money they received this year.

Then, on the radio I heard Mr Pickles blustering that the (Conservative run) Local Government Association was exaggerating the job cuts local government would be facing. If only councils were more efficient fewer jobs would be lost he argued. It seems that Mr Pickles didn’t understand that job cuts were how Local Authorities tended to find efficiencies.

Despite these acts of provocation a post discussing these acts of outrage might have been too political so I was prepared to leave it. Then came a post on the Conservative Party Blog from Mr Pickles that tipped me over the edge (thanks to @FlipChartFT for the heads up). Here are the first few paragraphs:

Councils don’t need to mask or hide this year’s Christmas festivities for fear of causing offence, Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has said today.

As the lights are turned on for Christmas all over the country, Mr Pickles urged councils to take pride in Britain’s Christian heritage; celebrating the nativity and all the traditions that have sprung up around it from tinsel and tree lights to turkey.

“We should actively celebrate the Christian basis of Christmas, and not allow politically correct Grinches to marginalise Christianity and the importance of the birth of Christ.

“The War on Christmas is over, and likes of Winterval, Winter Lights and Luminous deserve to be in the dustbin of history.

The full ‘story’ can be found here:

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The Giant Awakens

September 2, 2010

The seasons, like the slide into obscurity for Big Brother contestants, are immutable and inexorable.  They have not changed for generations, although Al Gore is on a one man mission to convince us all through the wonder that is PowerPoint that things will never be the same again (not that I’m disagreeing with him, but a PowerPoint presentation?!).

Still; hot, wet, cold, wet, windy or wet, the British seasons generally roll around in the same manner on an annual basis, vaguely matching the months they fall in.  We are coming to the end of summer time at the moment, and therefore life in local government can once again begin anew.

You see, it’s a curious phenomenon that occurs in the public sector – life stops for the summer holidays.  I’m not saying everything grinds to a halt while we take a six week siesta, but much of the work simply slows down significantly and only begins again when the first 4×4 Chelsea Tractors are spotted at 8.30am and the volume of mobile phone music increases significantly on every form of public transport. (more…)


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