Archive for February 18, 2011

Flagrant waste of council tax money

February 18, 2011

We’ve mentioned many times that we love guest posts and we do our best to put them up as and when they pop into our inbox. Today’s excellent post is from Matt in London who pokes a little fun at the obsession in the media about council furniture. If anyone would like to add their own post please drop us a line at

But not before you’ve enjoyed today’s post:

I’m frequently fascinated by the media (and wider public) interest in the money councils spend on office items, like stationery and chairs. The latter was most recently seen by our friends at the Audit Commission, but all sorts of councils including Haringey have had “name and shame” articles recently about spending taxpayers hard-earned cash on luxury items like seating.

Certainly papers seem to get more “up in arms” about a council spend £100 on chairs than they do on the massive sums frittered away on PFI projects and the like.

In light of this I thought I’d share this picture of some council furniture at my council, which I think demonstrates ‘value for money’. I don’t think there’s been much interior design oversight or aesthetics strategy planning around this mixed bunch, but it does look like we last invested in seating some time around the time of Local Public Service Agreements. Surely the public would be impressed by this during financially restricted times.

No budget for furniture or just too arty?