Localism Public sector waste

Councils’ priorities, not ours

In the run up to the end of their financial year councils will be making some hard decisions about budgets for next year.

An article in today’s Telegraph highlights an area that many councils do not prioritise – libraries. 50 libraries to go. Tax payers’ priorities 0, councils’ priorities 1.

Where does the money go? Look at the job pages. On Sunday Surrey County Council advertised for four Strategic Directors. They offered “attractive six figure salaries” for all. At the same time they are proposing to close 6 libraries in the county.

Surrey ad 22-1-2006.jpgThe prominent, quarter page advert in the Sunday Times must have cost £5,000. The recruiter will be looking for fees of 20%, ie £80,000 worth of fees for four posts.

I suspect that Surrey Council Tax Payers would happily give up a Strategic Director for Policy & Performance in return for some libraries. You might imagine that the so-called Chief Executive might think that their job would include policy and performance? 

[See letter in Telegraph next day.]

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