Flagrant waste of council tax money


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 welovelocalgovernment@gmail.com.

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?
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3 Comments on “Flagrant waste of council tax money”

  1. LG Worker Says:

    This picture is clear evidence of Council’s wasting money. If you look at the yellow chair there is a pen just left, yes fellow tax payers, just left there for anyone to take. Tax payers paid for that pen and therefore it should be chained to the officer who is using it, otherwise they will need…yes you guessed it another pen. Clearly the Tax Payers Alliance needs to get on to this issue of, rubbish pens, that don’t work being lost by careless Officers.

    It doesn’t matter that the pen probably doesn’t work and may actually be the Officers personal pen, so paid for from their pocket (indeed if this is the case, this would be worst as the Officer would use their pay for buying the pen and then they would demand to be paid way, way more then the Prime Minster).

    Oh, I seem to have lost my pen, anyone seen it?

  2. Matt Says:

    @LG Worker- I’m glad you picked up on this important issue. The ‘disregarded pen’ is in fact part of our council’s innovative new approach called ‘Collaborative Stationery Budgets’. Instead of weighing down back office staff with heavy biros, we leave one in each meeting room, thus also alleviating ourselves of the need to waste space on stationery cupboards (extra room for another non-job officer’s desk). Just out of shot is a small pad of paper (heavily annotated), a paper clip chain and some staples for the stapler that we sadly had to sell.

  3. jgh Says:

    That pen was paid for by the officer? Yes, but where did he get his money from? His salary, paid out of my taxes!!! How dare a council worker spend !MY TAXES! on frivalties like pens, food, clothing, rent, etc. Council workers should spend their wages on what I tell them to!!!🙂


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