For some time now I have been trying to get the council to make various aspects of their website work properly, well going there today I notice that they have finally replaced the search facility that never worked properly with one provided by Microsoft called Bing.
Looking on the front of the Thanet Times, I noticed that the headline is, Axe to fall on top jobs in the Council Cost savings to total £1m. it goes on to say that a quarter of the senior management jobs in Thanet council are to axed.
Well I know that our top officers in TDC earn a fair bit, in fact I had quite s tiff reprimand from the chief exec of TDC when I used nicknames based on their weekly wages to illustrate a point, see http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/foi/id17.htm
But even so the top TDC officers earning £4m per year seemed a bit of an exaggeration so I thought to check this one out, first port of call the council’s website, confronted with the new search facility I duly entered the search terms “officers pay” one of the pages on the council’s website that came up was entitled “STRICTLY PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL” here it is http://www.thanet.gov.uk/pdf/Parking_Enforcement_Policy_%202008.pdf so I was somewhat distracted for a while.
Funny thing about the attraction of things one is not supposed to read.
Sorry I digress, pay at this sort of level is actually called remuneration, so with a slight adjustment of my search terms I finally came to this page http://www.thanet.gov.uk/council__democracy/council_budgets__spending/statement_of_accounts_2009/core_financial_accounts_notes.aspx which does indeed list their pay.
All in all it is a bit difficult to see what the paper is saying here, the “top jobs” cost £843,952 so the cost savings wouldn’t reach £1m if you sacked the lot of them, so how the paper thinks sacking two of the top seven jobs in the council will slice £1m of the budget for the next financial year eludes me.
As with so much to do with the government cuts, it is explanation that is lacking, like today’s scrapping of HMS Ark Royal, there may be an explanation but our politicians seem reluctant to divulge it.
The civil servant who only generates sheafs of paper is a problem that has to be reduced, for every two serving members of the armed forces the government employs one civil servant in the MOD.
Don’t get me wrong here some of these will be essential, but the problem has got out of hand and there is a limit to how may people whose life is funded by taxation, be they paid wages by the government or living on benefits paid by the government.
There is also another differentiation to consider here and that is the one between doing any sort of job and doing a job that actually produces something that wasn’t there before.
I am conscious that much of my time is spent buying and selling books that were produced by someone else, however some of the time I do produce something, mostly in terms of the local books I publish.
There are two aspects to this, one is the writing and editing that eventually produces a file that can be sent to one of my printers and the other side of this is the actual manufacturing of the books.
As far as I can see most of the tangible wealth of the country has to come from producing something that wasn’t there before, in the world as it is, the proportion between this and other forms of work needs to be in balance.
Coming back the problem of cuts, I suppose the underlying problem here is that it is the system of government that has to remove parts of the system of government and it is probable that those highest in that system of government will be the most resistive to this removal.