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Ex-Mayor Livingstone Public sector waste

Another stupid tax

lscp.gifThe London Safety Camera Partnership is another stupid bit of London government that costs us a lot but achieves very little. They also hate scrutiny and take the longest time to fess up to what they do.

In the summer I was harassing them to publish their figures. They had not published any on their website since their 2002/3 ones. I wrote to them in August and they finally managed to put them up on their website on 16th October. See PDF. Six and a half months after your year end is a little pedestrian I think. Still no figures for the two years before.

What the figures show is that the eye watering speeding fines you get simply get spent on their costs and very little is left behind to do anything that you or I might actually value. Last year LSCP collected £9,455,820 in fines. They spent most of it in costs of £8,832,898 leaving a surplus of £622,922 or just 6.6% of their income. It is one thing collecting fines but to waste them all in collecting the money in the first place is pretty tragic.

They are not good at being transparent with their minutes either although they do give occasional insights to their mindset. They put up a big batch of minutes on 5th January when the website was set up and then another batch on the 2nd August. The last meeting covered is 30th June. God knows what they have been doing since then. Still, you can actually find some laughs in the minutes such as this gem from the 44th board report.

David Kessly (TfL) concluded that having such a hefty surplus (£710,000) was not the ideal predicament, particularly when it is all returned to the DfT.

Translating this statement into real language you get: As a representative of TfL I regret that we mismanaged our finances such that we made a surplus which we had to return to central government. If we had done our job properly we would have found some wasteful activity to spend this surplus on such that we ended up with a near zero surplus. You see these partnerships are meant to return their surpluses to the Department for Transport but the people in charge would rather waste your cash. Hence their £800K ad campaign earlier this year (see previous posting).